With an intention reflecting off 2010’s Facebook Zero project, Twitter is here to make sure that you never miss another tweet because of a basic feature phone. The presence of Twitter Access has been steadily growing since its introduction back in 2012, adding a number of countries, mobile carriers and brand partners under its “zero-rated” data belt.
The structure of the project mainly involves the operator removing mobile data charges for a limited period of time (usually about three months), allowing users to browse the Twitter mobile website without incurring any cost. However, the “zero” concept only works on the website, which means clicking an external link or downloading a piece of media will prompt the standard data charges reminder. Otherwise, all of Twitter’s normal features (Read, Respond, Favourite, and endless scrolling) will be available to use as per norm.
Familiar names like Pakistan’s Mobilink, India’s Reliance Communications, Nepal’s Ncell and Uzbek’s Ucell have all been associated with this service lately, usually by running active campaigns to showcase their support. The names closer to home would be the few touted on the website: Smart (only Philippines now), XL Axiata (only Indonesia now), Vodafone and Turkcell. Malaysia currently holds the third place in Bloomberg’s 2014 “Best Emerging Markets” analysis; and this can be expanded further to see the country’s potential as the native sister of the previous counties. Truly, there is a big opportunity presently for Twitter Access to branch out and lead (the users) in.
Going forward, the current state of Twitter Access sees the service going live for brief periods of time at different emerging markets, possibly because of the cost arrangements behind the companies and Twitter itself. It is believed that there are more than a hundred Twitter Access deals underway for this blue bird’s entrance into the emerging markets, particularly when the iron is comfortably hot. The Asia-Pacific region has a predicted user growth of almost 40% in the totality of Twitter’s 2018 user base, with weighty figures from India and Indonesia (both are expected to see over 50% increases in user numbers this year).
There are still many channels Twitter Access can tweak to get the word around, but what they have done so far is notably paced with the world’s development. With the rise of smartphones, it is a turbo race for the content providers (eg. social media sites and apps) to reach the right people at the right time with the right reputation.