Is Twitter Stumbling in Its India Push?



India summons Twitter CEO

India is one of the most promising international markets for technology companies, and Twitter (TWTR) is one of the companies pursuing growth opportunities in the country. Some $1.5 billion was spent on digital advertisements in India in 2018, and the spending is poised to more than double to $3.2 billion by 2021, according to Zenith Media estimates. Competition is tight for this revenue opportunity, and for Twitter, there appears to be an added “complexifier” to its India ambitions, as the Amazon (AMZN) boss Jeff Bezos would say.

Early this month, India summoned Twitter’s top executives to appear for a parliamentary hearing, but chief executive Jack Dorsey didn’t show up, much to the disappointment of lawmakers. As a result, the parliament issued a notice for Dorsey to appear before it on February 25, as the BBC reported.

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Top social networks in India

Indian lawmakers want to discuss how to safeguard the rights of its citizens on social media with Twitter’s senior leadership. Twitter doesn’t currently disclose its Indian user base, but it is among the top five social networks in the country, according to StatCounter data. It held 1.8% of India’s social media market at the end of January, which is on par with Instagram. Google’s (GOOGL) YouTube and Pinterest held a 2.5% and 3.0% share of India’s social media market that month. Facebook (FB) topped the group with a 90.5% market share. Facebook also owns Instagram.

All these services are jostling for digital advertising dollars in India. Snap (SNAP) is also pursuing this opportunity. Last year Snap partnered with advertising technology firm Tyroo to help it reach more advertisers in India.


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