Microblogging site Twitter Inc. announced the introduction of four new Indian languages on its platform. The new languages introduced are Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi and Tamil.
Local language content and offerings are expected to be a large market in India as millions of Indians in the hinterland will buy low-cost smartphones over the next five years. India’s mobile Internet users is estimated to grow to over 300 million by 2017 from the current 159 million in 2014, according to a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India and consultancy firm KPMG.
Facebook Inc. and Google Inc. also have their offerings in more than 10 Indian languages on their respective platforms.
English and Hindi are already available on Twitter. The company said it updated its Android app to support the new languages.
“We are hoping to provide users with a hyper local flavour and the ability to Tweet in their native language to start conversations and create content that reflect their local milieu a lot more,” a Twitter spokesperson said in an email.
The company said it wasn’t currently considering introducing more languages.
India is likely to have the second highest Twitter user base in the Asia-Pacific, with 22.2 million this year, a 30% increase over 2014, according to a January report by research and analyst firm Emarketer Inc. The user base may increase to 40 million by 2018, the report estimated.
The four new languages were partially translated by Twitter users via its Translation centre, the company said. Globally, Twitter has over 300 million users. Twitter lags behind Facebook, which is expected to have 136 million users in 2015 and set to climb up to 211 million by 2018.
Twitter acquired Bengaluru-based mobile marketing and analytics company ZipDial Mobile Solutions Pvt. Ltd in January 2015 to further expand its user base in the country.
Source: Live Mint