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 Twitter's phenomenal growth in India 

 
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BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: ANCHOR: Well, India is one of the fastest growing digital markets in the world that has more than 200 million internet users, most of them young and very socially engaged engaged and with the exception exception of the U.S., there is no country with more Twitter users according according to research company, Alexa Internet. It says 7% of Twitter users are in India.

I am joined now by Twitter's Market Director for India and South East Asia, Rishi Jaitly. Thank you so much for being with us. That is staggering staggering number. I know one of know one of the biggest users of Twitter is Prime Minister himself.

Talk to me about what your user growth rates are in that country.

RISHI JAITLY, TWITTER: Becky, it's fair to be here. You're right. India has responded responded to Twitter and it's not surprising. I think in the last couple couple of years, we've seen young people in India, self express in powerful ways, here in general and that combined with the confluence confluence of cheap smartphones available available in India, has I think lead to lead to the rise of platforms like Twitter. We say during this past election, nearly 60 million tweets sent in India with regard regard to the last election. But Indian users are not just tweeting about politics, they are tweeting about many things including including television, television shows have seen a 3 to 4x rise in conversation. So, I think this confluence confluence of things, which is the rise of smartphones in India, the rise of young, middleclass that is eager eager to self express in public context, context, it is not surprising that Twitter in particular particular has seen such growth in the last couple couple of years.

BECKY ANDERSON: And in many ways, this is another another market that is sort sort of mobile first for many people, which obviously obviously is going to benefit a company like yours. Rishi, are you approaching approaching this market differently? We've seen in the U.S. that Twitter has really established established itself during live events, but then there's a lot of disappointment about fall off fall off and about user growth once that event stops. Are you doing things differently as you market to India?

RISHI JAITLY: Yeah, one of things you have to realize realize if you are in the mobile and digital space in India is a very eclectic eclectic network and device environment. You have a wide range of network conditions and a wide range of devices.

Twitter was invented on SMS, right. My first tweets were sent on SMS. We all know Jack's first tweet and many tweets at the start were on SMS and so even in India, today, we see users taking advantage of following tweets via SMS. Users have even figured out a way to connect Twitter accounts to phone numbers. Imagine dialing a phone number, the phone call hangs up hangs up and getting tweets back via SMS. This is something the Prime Minister of India experimented with during the campaign. So, we are absolutely absolutely optimizing for this network environment and you have to, you have to meet Indians where they connect information and where they connect to media and India loves its media. It is no surprise again that we have seen so much growth this year in particular. particular.

BECKY ANDERSON: That's fascinating. fascinating. Of course, the trick is going to be to monetize that and that is Twitter's challenge all around. What lessons are you taking from India and applying to applying to other markets. There's been a lot of conversation about whether you're going to take the big momentum you had around the election and apply that elsewhere?

RISHI JAITLY: Well, I think there's two points. One is that, you know what we provide provide to brands is an opportunity to drive live engagements engagements in iconic iconic moments, right. Moments that are adjacent adjacent to your product or service, but even distant distant moments. So, many brands participated in the conversation around the election this year for instance, instance, whether you are selling tea or selling a cable subscription. Engaging Engaging users and young people in India in the conversation is something productive. We've also seen people organize on the platform in creative ways.

There are Twitter accounts here that solicit solicit blood donations. I know a young woman that uses Twitter here to sell stationery stationery and of course we recently had a new Twitter account in India, the Mars Orbiter. India has its own Mars Orbiter circling Mars and again brands participated in that public conversation on our platform and those are some of the lessons we are taking away taking away from India and very, very bullish on this market and how the country has responded responded to our platform.


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