Twitter’s new innovations drive growth
Patricia Esteves (The Philippine Star) - April 12, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Twitter’s growth in the Philippines and the world can be attributed to the various innovations it has been making over the last few years, and one of these is that the social media platform is no longer confined to its 140-character text format.

Twitter’s managing director for Southeast Asia Arvinder Gujral said the social media platform  now has a lot of features.

“Another reason for Twitter’s growth is innovation. Twitter is no longer confined to its 140-character text format. For example, we had Nike doing a two-hour video marathon that  trended globally. In one innovation, we summarize what you had missed during your sleep, the tweets that got the most engagement and which you would like. When you wake up, you see these tweets and can view the content. For example, we know that you care about elections and politics. If you missed an important tweet about those topics, we tweet it back to you and you come back to the platform,” Gujral explained during a recent round-table interview with the press.

Gujral also said the re-tweet is now the new “Like.”

“Like is the new re-tweet. For example, a few years ago, you follow me on Twitter but this person doesn’t follow you although he follows me. If I tweet, and he retweets, then you see it. Today, when I tweet and he likes my tweet, you will see he likes my tweet. And you might be curious enough to visit my page. This tool is a driving engagement because you want to see what other people like,” Gujral said.

Gujral is bullish on Twitter’s growth in the Philippines, stressing that the country is one of several nations driving the social media platform’s growth in the Asia-Pacific.

“We grew last quarter at 12 percent globally. The Philippines has grown by a much larger percentage. Southeast Asia... is the growth engine of Twitter globally. Several countries are driving the growth: the Philippines is one of them and it is a fastest-growing market. The others are India and Thailand. The Philippines has become a very strategic market for products that we would launch globally, to see what features are working,” Gujral said.

In the Philippines, users are engaging in entertainment, sports and civil society involvement.

“Filipinos really love to express themselves and they do it on Twitter a lot. Then you get 60 million tweets for an award show happening in the Philippines. Those numbers are phenomenal. It defies logic. The Philippines is not the biggest market in the world globally but what happens in this country is global. What surprises us here is the scale. The second big category is sports, with basketball obviously in the lead,” Gujral said.

Twitter is also used during catastrophes like typhoons and volcano eruptions.

 The government uses Twitter to tell the people not to go to certain areas or call these numbers when they need help.

“Twitter is being used as a broadcast mechanism. This is not being done in Metro Manila alone but outside in the provinces. We are being used far across the islands in both rural and urban centers,” Gujral said.

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