Twitter announced today that it has reached an agreement to acquire ZipDial (@zipdial), its product partner based in Bangalore, to make Twitter even more accessible to people around the world. This is Twitter’s first ever acquisition in India.
Christian Oestlien, VP of Product, Twitter explains, "Over the next several years, billions of people will come online for the first time in countries like Brazil, India and Indonesia. For many, their first online experience will be on a mobile device – but the cost of data may prevent them from experiencing the true power of the Internet. Twitter, in partnership with ZipDial, can make great content more accessible to everyone. “
ZipDial has built a mobile platform that lets people follow and engage with content across all interfaces. The user experience combines SMS, voice, mobile web, and access to mobile apps to bridge users from offline to online. For example, through ZipDial, it’s easy to engage with a publisher or brand by making a toll-free “missed call” to a designated phone number. The caller will then begin receiving inbound content and further engagement on their phone in real time through voice, SMS or an app notification. These interactions are especially appealing in areas where people aren’t always connected to data or only access data through intermittent wifi networks.
ZipDial’s platform has engaged nearly 60 million users with hundreds of marketer clients, including the world’s leading brands and media companies. The platform’s unique model of engaging users while “offline”enables ZipDial to personalize the experience and content in ways that are not possible on traditional online platforms.
Valerie Wagoner, Founder and CEO, ZipDial explains, “More than half of the world’s population live in emerging and newly developed markets, and these consumers use their mobile phones differently. We build for them. ZipDial’s innovative platform has already scaled across South Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa, where we operate. We are thrilled to expand our impact to a global level with Twitter.”
Over the past two years ZipDial and Twitter have collaborated on a variety of campaigns, including the Indian elections, Bollywood film promotions and @MTVIndia’s #RockTheVote “Dial the Hashtag” campaign. Today, people across India use ZipDial’s platform to access access cricket scores, audio programming, Tweets from their favorite Bollywood stars – and much more – on their mobile phones. Leading figures, including actors, politicians and athletes, also use the platform to instantly reach millions of citizens on Twitter through text and voice messages.
Rishi Jaitly, Market Director, India and Southeast Asia, Twitter says, “We’re extremely impressed with what ZipDial has built and are delighted to welcome them to the flock. In India, our primary mission, which is bolstered by this acquisition, is to help every Indian with a mobile device enjoy 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.”
This acquisition significantly increases Twitter’s investment in India, one of the countries where the company is seeing great growth, and also brings Twitter a new engineering office in Bangalore.