Twitter has signed up digital ad network Httpool as its new ad partner in India, reports ETtech. Httpool will be the microblogging platform’s official ad reseller in India and work towards increasing the ad pool for Twitter in the country.

Last year, SVG Media owned Komli Media had renewed its partnership with Twitter India till March 2017, which was first signed in 2012 and allowed Twitter to expand its promoted products advertising suite and help it monetize those. It’s not clear why the association with Komli Media was discontinued. One reason could be that since Twitter already works with Httpool in several countries across Europe and Asia, it made sense to extend the partnership to India.

Twitter India’s country director, Taranjeet Singh told ETtech that the company’s direct sales team in the country currently deals with around 100 advertisers, including some of the Fortune 500 companies. However, they need to increase their ad client base and expand the promoted products advertising suite, and that’s where Httpool will come in.

Httpool, which was acquired by Sony Pictures Television Networks’ subsidiary IMS Internet Media Services (IMS) in July this year, began its India operations in 2011, and in June 2012 had launched its self-serving online and mobile advertising platform called AdPlatform in the country. It has offices in Mumbai and Delhi and claims to work with over 300 brands.

Twitter’s monetization plans

Monetization was one of the primary focus for Twitter under former CEO Dick Costolo, who stepped down in June 2015. The company had introduced a host of monetization products, including its Promoted Video platform, which the company had begun testing back in March 2014 in partnership with the NBA. Though some of these monetization initiatives, like Buy Button, have been discontinued, the company continues to look for other avenues. Twitter has also launched some India-specific monetisation plans:

  • In April 2016, the company had launched First View, a tool for marketers which lets them gain top spots (by placement) on the platform via video, in India, and 28 other APAC countries like Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Australia. First View was first launched in the US in February last year, and allows marketers to scale video marketing campaigns and real time public conversations on Twitter.
  • In January 2015, Twitter had acquired ZipDial, following which it worked with the Bangalore-based mobile marketing & analytics platform to offer users content related to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. At the time, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo had mentioned that users with feature phones or smartphones and even those that don’t have Twitter accounts will be able to access this content. Though Costolo didn’t provide any further details, it seemed similar to the ad unit Facebook had started testing with ZipDial earlier in 2014. Users had to place miss calls on a given number and in return were provided content like cricket scores and celebrity messages among others.

Twitter’s India layoffs: In October 2016, Twitter India laid off 9% of its workforce, mainly in sales, partnerships and marketing. A month earlier, it had also cut 20 jobs and shut down it’s Bangalore global engineering operations. The Bangalore engineering team was constituted following the company’s acquisition of ZipDial in February 2015.