From working on tools to take on trolls to making their product more appealing to the mass market, Twitter on Thursday said it was planning to attract a much larger user base in India even in areas where bandwidth was an issue.
also plans to go big on providing video content that, according to the company, works well with Indian consumers. The micro-blogging site
has around 24 million active users in India.
For Twitter, last year was filled with issues ranging from high-profile exits to job cuts. Parminder Singh, managing director of West Asia and North Africa, and India head Rishi Jaitley were among the big names that left Twitter
after differences with the management.
The company also cut down its global manpower by almost nine per cent. There have been reports of curbed growth, a shrinking user base and complaints of cyber-bullying and “trolling”. However, the company claimed it had come out strong and the India business was one of the biggest in its portfolio.
“India, which is one of the top five markets, is also one of the fastest growing markets for Twitter
and we believe that it is the best time for growth in the country as more people join the platform, including celebrities,” said Twitter’s Southeast Asia and India Managing Director Maya Hari.
Keeping India’s problems with Internet connectivity in mind, Twitter
on Thursday launched a lighter version of its app that would work faster in entry level smartphones and in areas where connectivity was poor.
According to the company, the Twitter
Lite app will save at least 70 per cent of data costs and will be 30 per cent faster. All this has been conceptualised keeping India in mind and will be taken to other countries where there are similar bandwidth issues. Twitter
Lite will be available in six languages: Marathi, Gujarati, Kannada, Bengali, Tamil and Hindi.
Hari said Twitter
Lite, increased usage in Indian languages, and enhanced video content would help the platform expand its user base in Tier-II and Tier-III towns.
With live streaming of sports, events, news and entertainment, Twitter
plans to go big on providing video content.
The company has also launched a slew of tools to take on “trolls”. “Safety is of the utmost priority and we have launched tools to protect users,” Hari added.