Next billion Internet users will come from India: Taranjeet Singh, Twitter India

With Twitter’s audience base growing at an accelerated pace in India, the social media platform is looking at the recent launched Twitter Lite as another audience growth driver in India for 2017. Twitter has also emerged as a powerful partner for brands, building up associations with over 273 brands, including ESPN, CNN, Fox Sports, HCTV, MTV, Star Plus, and Sky, among many others, and does live broadcasting and videos for them. 

Taranjeet Singh, who was promoted as Country Director for Twitter India in May this year, is confident in the social media platform’s position as the ultimate hub for all things Live for consumers and building awareness about the platform’s live video capabilities for brands. Singh is leading the Twitter India team by driving an integrated business strategy and spearheading cross-functional collaboration to accelerate Twitter’s audience and revenue growth in this key growth market. 

Twitter India completed two Twitter Amplify partnerships in Q1 2017 to help partners monetise their content on Twitter – a first in the news category for Budget Day 2017 with CNBC-TV18 and the State Bank of India; and the other, a first in the entertainment category for the Filmfare Awards with Filmfare and Jio. 

Brand marketers today are redefining marketing boundaries with the help of live streams. The process of live streaming starts way before the actual live stream. The advertiser has to announce the event, keep reminding the audience to tune in on the date for streaming and watch the live video and replay the video post the live stream by making it available for audiences that missed out on the actual live stream. 

Speaking to Adgully on how video will disrupt brand communication in the times to come, Taranjeet Singh explained, “The way users consume content has changed drastically, with 90 per cent of videos on Twitter now being consumed on a mobile device. Live streaming video drives conversation, connection, and engagement on Twitter, reinforcing our position as the best and fastest place to see what’s happening in the world and what people are talking about. The challenge for marketers is to deliver live video content and experiences that will keep Millennials engaged on their mobile devices. For brands vying for attention in the fragmented media landscape, live video offers new opportunities to deeply engage larger audiences. Live video today is evolving as the No. 1 form of online content for brands with users consuming video thoroughly against casually skimming through it.” 

Singh firmly believes that India is where the next billion Internet users will come from, with overall Internet penetration in the country currently standing at around 31 per cent. 

When asked how digital is reshaping the consumer engagement landscape today in India, he noted that increasingly, people will be always online, which means brands need to be able to respond in real-time to develop strong customer engagement. He cited the example of Motorola, which became the first brand to develop personalised role play quiz for IPL fans with Direct Messages on Twitter, taking public engagement to the individual level. “The next generation will be digital first and video first, and brands need to start building their creative capabilities and/ or work closer with platforms like Twitter to develop content marketing,” Singh added. 

Twitter recently announced 16 new content partnerships at their Newfronts event in NYC, on top of streaming more than 800 hours of live premium video from content partners across more than 450 events reaching 45 million unique viewers in Q1 2017. Speaking on Twitter’s strategy to grow its video business, Singh informed that live is core to Twitter and live video is its second nature. He added that Twitter is bringing more video content and programming by working closely with partners and brands around the world and making it easier than ever for their partners to go live via Twitter and Periscope and providing more incentives for them to live broadcast. 

Video’s contribution to Twitter’s overall revenue has been extraordinary and the platform has had great success from video. Video has been Twitter’s top revenue generating ad format for four consecutive quarters. It has helped Twitter by prompting tweets with video, in amplifying products and Twitter Live, which is the first to pioneer mobile and dynamic ad insertion, and the amount of content is growing. Twitter is also focusing on investments on revenue products that strengthen its unique value proposition for marketers, specifically in Live and Video. 

Speaking on how Twitter has been partnering with brands to give them a competitive advantage, Singh said that Video and Live video on Twitter and Periscope present a big opportunity for brands. “Twitter has a natural advantage in this context, with 90 per cent of video views on Twitter being on mobile. Brands in India have been leveraging Periscope to share moments with their audience in real time right since its launch in March 2015. Also, as video consumption continues to rise in the Asia Pacific, there are more opportunities for advertisers to use video on Twitter to reach consumers in innovative ways. Twitter’s Live Video and Amplify business now works hand-in-hand and has grown Twitter’s premium video business to more than 200 premium video publishers globally across the most active segments on Twitter,” Singh informed. 

Leading the partnership way 

Jio strengthened its association with Filmfare Awards by owning the conversation on Twitter on the Red Carpet via First Views and in-stream video advertising on premium Bollywood content co-produced by Filmfare. Prior to the actual telecast, they drove a 70 per cent increase in followers and achieved 131 million potential impressions through First View on the Red Carpet night. The show was broadcast live on Periscope on Twitter. 

Airbnb and Toyota were among the first brands to experiment with Live 360 at CES with impressive results of over a million viewers each. 

For their IPL 2017 campaign, Motorola recognised the potential of video to tap into the massive base of cricket fans and booked two weeks’ worth of video everyday with 14 First Views – a 24-hour takeover of the prime real estate property on Twitter. These First View videos were synced with all the League matches of their team, Rising Pune Supergiants, and featured a series of four quirky and fun-filled videos, showcasing a different and lighter side of Moto RPS players, which the fans didn’t have access to so far. 

Maruti Suzuki (@NexaExperience) targeted the new Ignis as a car designed and positioned for Millennials and ran a First View video launch with a conversation card to unlock the launch video, leading to an organic trend for #Ignis. They succeeded in garnering a lot of interest and securing very high engagement rates for the campaign. 

Oppo garnered more than 171,000 unique viewers with its promotion of the live Periscope broadcast of its new F3 Plus smartphone launch through First View. The brand leveraged video on Twitter to unveil brand ambassador Deepika Padukone and showcased the phone’s key features through Tweet Carousel.


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