Twitter entered into a partnership with one of largest Indonesian carriers, Indosat, on Monday, allowing 68 million Indosat subscribers to use its direct messaging (DM) feature for buying data, minutes and SMS packages for their phones, says a report from VentureBeat. Twitter wants to pave the way for new business opportunities just like the one discussed above, and for this purpose it lifted the 140-character DM limit in June.
Twitter using DM for new business opportunities
Arvinder Gujral, the director of business development in Asia-Pacific for Twitter, said that the company is thrilled to partner with Indosat as Indonesia is among the largest mobile and social media markets in the world. Indosat is the first carrier in entire Asia-Pacific to ink such a deal with Twitter, said Prashant Gokarn, Indosat’s chief of digital.
Twitter users can take advantage of the new service by following the Indosat’s Twitter account. Twitter users need to send a DM using the hashtag #TwitBuy, and then follow the authentication instructions that are sent back.
New feature, not without issues
One of the major issues with the feature is that users will have to use more traditional methods of topping up (i.e. by running a USSD code from the dial pad) if they run out of data and do not have Wi-Fi around. As of now, it is not known whether the micro-blogging firm will take a cut on the packages bought through DMs.
The micro-blogging firm has its eyes on Indonesia as the region offers ample opportunities. Last week, Twitter’s MD for Southeast Asia, India, North Africa and the Middle East, told the WSJ that the next phase of their growth is Indonesia, which has a population of 250 million. Twitter opened an office in Indonesia in March, and on Tuesday it welcomed its new head of business for the country, Roy Simangunsong, who sees Twitter as a “social soundtrack of daily life in Indonesia.”
It remains to be seen if this new feature will be readily adopted by users, but it’s a good start from Twitter, who wants users to spend more time on the platform.
As of around 10 am EDT Thursday, Twitter shares were at up 0.44% at $27.30. Year to date, the stock is down almost 24%, while over the last year, it is down over 48%.