We’ve just announced an agreement to acquire ZipDial (@zipdial) in order to make Twitter even more accessible to people in India and around the world. On behalf of our India operations, I’m delighted to welcome ZipDial’s leadership, employees and a new office in Bangalore to the spirited team that is @TwitterIndia!
Our primary mission, bolstered by this acquisition, is to help every Indian with a mobile device get a great, relevant Twitter experience. We believe Twitter – a platform invented for SMS and rich in media – is a perfect match for India, a mobile-first country with a celebrated media heritage.
From the use of Twitter during Mumbai’s November 2008 terror attacks and during major movements and protests in Delhi to the #OnlyOnTwitter celebrations after India’s 2011 Cricket World Cup victory, it was clear early on in our history that Indians have embraced our platform to keep up with national passions like news, politics, cricket and film. In the last few years, we’ve witnessed the rise of Twitter as the second screen for Indian television, non-stop Twitter innovation from the cricketing world – especially the @BCCI and @IPL – to this past year’s “Twitter Election.” And it’s fair to say that India’s biggest moments played out on Twitter in 2014.
Twitter and ZipDial already have a history of getting great content to Indians. In recent years, iconic actors like @iamsrk, @SrBachchan and @SuperStarRajini, religious leaders like @SriSri and many others partnered with Twitter and ZipDial so Indian users could follow them on Twitter by simply making a toll-free “missed call” to a designated phone number. Callers then started receiving inbound content on their phone in real time through voice, SMS or an app notification.
During our 2014 elections, the two national political parties – @BJP4India and @INCIndia – worked with Twitter and ZipDial to make their Twitter accounts accessible to all users in India on any phone, on any network and in any language. Twitter was their ultimate “mobile microphone” in the country’s first-ever #TwitterElection. Using the same technology, @MTVIndia worked with Twitter and ZipDial to launch an award-winning #RockTheVote “Dial the Hashtag” campaign, while @TimesNow TV provided breaking elections alerts via SMS.
With the Cricket World Cup around the corner, the rise of Twitter as a tool for governance, and more Indian icons joining our platform every day, 2015 promises to be another big year for Twitter in India, one of our fastest-growing countries worldwide. Our mission remains to help every Indian with a mobile device enjoy a great, relevant Twitter experience, and to give leading Indian publishers unmatched mobile reach. We couldn’t be more delighted to welcome the ZipDial team to the flock as we start this exciting new year together!