Twitter Tries To Cash In On Indian Elections And Cricket

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Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) might have been banned in Turkey, but the 8-year old microblogging company is looking for exciting new ways to generate more money. As general elections in India, the world’s largest democracy loom, Twitter has emerged as a favorite platform for political parties like Bharatiya Janata Party (People’s Party of India), Aam Admi Party (Common Man’s Party) and the Indian National Congress.

Indian political conversations on Twitter jump 600%

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) plans to monetize the Indian general elections and Indian Premier League (IPL) by charging political parties, influencers and brands for interacting with its massive user base. As of March 2013, Twitter had 33 million active users in India. And politics has been the hottest trend on the microblogging site. The number of political conversations has grown 600% over the past 12 months, says Twitter India CEO Rishi Jaitly during an interview with The Economic Times.

Cricket is the most popular sport in the Indian sub-continent. Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is persuading brands that advertising heavily during the Indian Premier League to join the social media site’s gambit. PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP) and MTV have already launched their new music channel on Twitter ahead of the IPL. Jaitley said the company has established a dedicated vertical structure to get politicians, influencers and political parties to engage with their audience on the website.

Twitter’s three-fold strategy for effective monetization

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) said it is targeting more than 500 million active mobile users in India as its potential user base. Talking about the company’s monetization strategy, Twitter’s chief of Southeast Asia and  India, Parminder Singh said he has a three-fold strategy. The company will first enable real-time marketing, then it will encourage brands to get social, and the third step is to ensure that ads are in sync with the user experience.

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) generated about $212 million in advertising revenues last year, up 120% from the previous year. Over the past few months, the company has unveiled a number of new advertising tools to improve return on investment, which will attract advertisers. Twitter ended 2013 with about 242 million users worldwide, but the user growth is slowing. So, the company needs to keep its existing users engaged, and monetize them effectively.

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) shares plunged 2.97% to $46.46 at 11:06 AM EDT on Wednesday.

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