New York/Bengaluru, Dec 16: To attract new users to the platform, micro-blogging website Twitter developed a standalone instant messaging app in India for emerging markets but killed the product without launching it as the company shut down its Bengaluru engineering centre that developed it, a media report claimed on Friday. According to Buzzfeed, the stand-alone app — for which Twitter spent more than a year developing it — was intended to be an on-ramp for new users to Twitter proper.
The app was built at Twitter’s Indian engineering centre in Bengaluru and blended tweets and instant messages in a single interface. But the company killed it in September this year when it shut down its India engineering centre, the report added. Twitter intended to identify “influencers” around certain topics — let’s say news or politics or sports and encourage them to create groups of interest within the app.
Twitter users could chat among themselves on the app and they could also subscribe to relevant Twitter accounts whose tweets would be pulled in automatically into these groups. “Twitter did not have that many active users in India, so the idea was that if enough people used the instant messaging app, we could expose a lot of people to tweets without them even going to Twitter in the first place,” Buzzfeed reported, quoting a source as saying. (IANS)