On being asked about whether the exit of Dick Costolo as CEO earlier this month would have any impact on Twitter’s business in India, he said, “India has always been a high potential market for Twitter and this will continue. We have been working with Komli Media as a reseller but we are also in the process of transitioning. Now that we have entered the country directly we have been able to have much more meaningful discussions with clients that have enabled us to take a quantum leap in revenue.”
Some of the brands that Twitter is speaking with include Audi, HUL, government initiatives like Make In India and Digital India, he informed. However, he clarified that this does not mean that they will cease their partnership with Komli Media. “We are in the process of setting up our team. It was a question of having feet on the ground which we did not have till now. But whether a client is approached by us or Komli, more importantly we have to be more accessible from a sales perspective,” he said.
One of the criticisms which have been leveled at the company is that its advertising products have not lived up to their potential. Twitter has traditionally lagged behind Facebook when it comes to digital ad dollars but Singh has mentioned that new advertising products are currently in the pipleline that would ensure growth continues at the same pace. In fact, in Twitter’s Q1 2015 report, the company admitted that new ad products have not lived to the potential and this would be something that Twitter wants to change in the coming year.
Singh informed us that a new product called Twitter TV Integration is expected to be launched in the coming week, though he would not give me more details about the product. Twitter has had a focus on TV and wants to portray itself as a second screen product to TV, In fact, in a 2013 interview, Dick Costolo had said that the company’s main growth would come from TV integration. The company has released TV and video products like Amplify and Twitter TV in the country over the past few months and Singh admitted that getting more partners onto these products would be one of the priorities going forward.
For SMEs, the news was not that good as Twitter does not seem to be about to bring its self-service model that is so popular in the West to the country. “We have plans to bring the model to India eventually but I cannot give any timeline for this,” said Singh. He also mentioned that the $10,000 or Rs 6,00,000 minimum guarantee would also continue to be applicable in the country.