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Why Elon Musk is ‘courting’ India after Twitter acquisition

File image of Elon Musk. AFP

New Delhi: “Still going through a lot of challenges with the government,” new Twitter boss Elon Musk said in January in response to a tweet asking when Tesla would enter the Indian market.

At the time, the mercurial billionaire had just started buying shares of Twitter, amassing a 5% stake in the company in mid-March. After months of negotiations and back and forth, Musk posted a video on Oct. 26 of himself entering Twitter headquarters with a kitchen sink, indicating that the deal is close to being done.

On Oct. 27, Musk finally tweeted “the bird is set free” after closing the $44 billion buyout to take the company private, just before a court-set deadline.

Musk is courting India?

As the Indian government persuades Tesla to ‘make in India’ instead of exporting its futuristic cars, the Twitter boss, after the acquisition, has apparently – with a few gestures – courted India which is one of the biggest markets for social media companies and the microblogging site is no exception.

Twitter had 23.6 million users in India in January 2022, according to business intelligence firm Statista, and the country is likely one of the key markets for the company’s growth.

Musk’s tweet urging those who criticize his handling of the microblogging site to stay on other platforms and summarizing his message in Hindi by saying “Namaste” – emphasizing that this is the end of the dialogue, in this case, is seen as an attempt to attract Indian engagement on Twitter.

Early in the day, Musk greeted millions of Indian subscribers with “Namaste” as he again suspended the blue service with verification, which was due to launch from November 29.

“I’m having a blast. Namaste,” Musk tweeted, as he understands India is a key market for Twitter and has several Indian-born software engineers working at the company.

On his Namaste tweet, several followers also greeted him with sarcasm.

“He wants Indian engagement on Twitter,” posted one follower.

“Looks like the Indians on your team teach you well!” posted another.

“Namaskar,” said another follower.

India has great potential for Twitter

Digital ad agencies in India are watching Twitter closely as it is a key platform to build brand awareness for advertisers.

Players in the digital advertising space claim that India holds great potential for Twitter in terms of digital marketing.

According to experts, India is one of the fastest growing markets for Twitter and one of the key regions for the growth of the social media platform over the next few years.

“This (Twitter) creates an opportunity for brands to converse with their potential customers. It is a great platform for brand advocacy and positioning. It has been used by brands like Zomato, Swiggy, and Fevicol to leverage the conversations happening on the platform. Therefore, it is a key part of a brand’s digital strategy and also because it has such a large user base in India,” Money control quoted Aayush Bansal, director and co-founder of Black Cab, as saying.

Bansal said the lion’s share of digital spending goes to social media platforms, including Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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