Following its acquisition of Bangalore-based ZipDial, Twitter has confirmed that it will be opening an R&D facility in India, reports the Financial Times (warning: paywall). Speaking to the publication Twitter India head, Rishi Jaitly said that R&D centre was an outcome of the deal but declined to give further details about the same.
ZipDial provides a mobile marketing platform through the “missed calls” feature. People can call a particular toll-free number, following which they are automatically disconnected and start receiving inbound content from brands via SMS, voice or an app notification. The service has also been used to verify mobile numbers and public voting for TV shows and in offline events.
Prior to the deal, Twitter and ZipDial had developed a platform where users could get could receive tweets from a Twitter account via SMS by dialing a phone number. Jaitly added that similar approaches would be now developed to provide a “taste” of Twitter to those with limited internet access and tempting them to download their app.
This would be critical for Twitter which is struggling to grow its user base and is now looking at emerging markets for further growth.
Twitter started focusing on its presence in India since it appointed Rishi Jaitly as Director for the Indian market in November 2012. Last year Twitter further expanded its team in India and hired Aneesh Surender Madani to handle Sports Partnerships and Pratiksha Rao as Associate Partnerships Manager. Twitter India had also hired Aircel’s Head of Data Arvinder Gujral as its Head of Mobile Business Development for India and South East Asia.
In January 2014, Twitter India had appointed Raheel Khursheed as head of news, politics and government. His role is to provide front-line technical support to journalists, politicians and governmental agencies.