Byravee Iyer
Aug 17, 2015

The man charged with Twitter's APAC user growth

ASIA-PACIFIC - In a bid to stem slowing user growth, Twitter has promoted Rishi Jaitly to VP of media for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

Rishi Jaitly established Twitter in India
Rishi Jaitly established Twitter in India

Jaitly and his team will work with key publishers to priortise Twitter as the first and exclusive platform to reach audiences across Twitter, Vine and Periscope. Based in Singapore, he will be growing his teams in major digital markets including Australia, India and Japan, while expanding into new markets in Greater China and Southeast Asia.

Investment in media partnerships varies market by market, Jaitly said in an exclusive interview with Campaign Asia-Pacific. Mass media, however, tends to centre around news, politics, sports and entertainment. In Philippines for instance, sports, particularly basketball will be an important area. For India, it is politics and cricket while Australia is driven by television content.

Twitter's struggles with user growth are well-documented. The company reported in July that growth of its monthly average users was the slowest since it went public in 2013. In the second quarter, Twitter said it had 304 million core users, up from 302 million in the previous quarter. Still, despite that, the firm's advertising revenue rose 63 per cent to $452 million during the period. 

According to eMarketer estimates, markets in Asia-Pacific are among those driving the platform's user growth worldwide, with Indonesia and India topping this year's rankings for projected user gains. Despite China's ban, Asia-Pacific will account for more Twitter users than any other region. Nearly one-third of Twitter users will be from APAC compared to fewer than one-quarter in North America, the firm's number two market.  

Prior to his new role, Jailty was Twitter's market director for India and Southeast Asia. He was responsible for establishing Twitter’s operations in India and growing content partnerships there, in Indonesia and the rest of Southeast Asia. He was previously head of public-private partnerships for Google in India and aide to then-CEO Eric Schmidt in California.

Jaitly was instrumental in driving the recently completed TV partnership deal with MediaCorp to use Twitter’s SnappyTV platform to exclusively provide high-quality video clips of Singapore’s National Day Parade during the live event.

As part of this expansion, Twitter is also betting on young users and non-English content. “English can only take you so far,” Jaitly said. “In India we work with a host of vernacular mass media companies and Southeast Asia it means thinking of how local language publishers prioritise Twitter.”

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