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Twitter snaps up Indian startup ZipDial

The social media network hopes ZipDial's 'missed call' technology will bring Twitter to those in emerging markets where Wi-Fi connections can be unstable.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer
Twitter has acquired ZipDial, an Indian startup which offers a mobile platform that crosses the bridge between offline and online content access.

The Bangalore, India-based company is most well-known for a mobile platform which merges different interfaces and allows users to follow and connect with content across various networks. Combining SMS messaging, voice, Web and mobile apps, the platform can be accessed by making a toll-free "missed call" to a designated phone number. Content then can be accessed via SMS, voice or an app notification.

Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

In a blog post announcing the acquisition, Twitter said that over the next few years, "billions of people" will gain access for the first time in countries like Brazil, India and Indonesia, and for many, this will take place on a mobile device. However, the cost of data may prevent them from taking full advantage of social networks -- including Twitter -- and so a collaboration between Twitter and ZipDial can "make great content more accessible to everyone."

As ZipDial's platform can provide a bridge for users to check accounts and pull up content without relying on a data network, the two firms can assist those without stable Wi-Fi or data network access. Twitter says that the firm has worked with ZipDial in the past on various campaigns including the Indian elections and film promotions, but the buyout will allow Twitter to "help more people around the world enjoy great and relevant Twitter experiences on their mobile phones."

See also: ZipDial gives brands marketing opportunities via 'missed calls'

According to ZipDial, the average Indian user consumes on average 60MB of data per month, only 4.5 percent of the 1.38GB consumed by those in the US. For companies seeking revenue through Web-based user engagement, campaigns and advertising, this country alone represents an untapped market -- if you provide a way for them to get online without issue.

ZipDial said in a blog post:

"We'll continue building upon the existing ZipDial platform, and now, by coming together with Twitter, we have the tremendous opportunity to elevate everything we've built to a global scale. Our ambitious goal is to make Twitter's unique, great content accessible to 100 percent of the world's mobile users, including those in emerging markets who will be experiencing the mobile Internet for the first time.
We could not be prouder to join the flock."

Read on: In the enterprise

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