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Micro-blogging website Twitter kills its Instant Messaging App before launch in India: Report

They shut the project since the versions of the app that tested out with users anonymously did not get good feedback

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FILE - The Twitter logo appears on a screen in Ventura, California. VOA

New York, December 16, 2016: To attract new users to the platform, micro-blogging website Twitter developed a standalone instant messaging app in India for emerging markets but killed the product without launching it as the company shut down its Bengaluru engineering centre that developed it, a media report claimed on Friday.

According to Buzzfeed, the stand-alone app — for which Twitter spent more than a year developing it — was intended to be an on-ramp for new users to Twitter proper.

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The app was built at Twitter’s Indian engineering centre in Bengaluru and blended tweets and instant messages in a single interface. But the company killed it in September this year when it shut down its India engineering centre, the report added.

Twitter intended to identify “influencers” around certain topics — let’s say news or politics or sports and encourage them to create groups of interest within the app.

Twitter users could chat among themselves on the app and they could also subscribe to relevant Twitter accounts whose tweets would be pulled in automatically into these groups.

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“Twitter did not have that many active users in India, so the idea was that if enough people used the instant messaging app, we could expose a lot of people to tweets without them even going to Twitter in the first place,” Buzzfeed reported, quoting a source as saying.

“Eventually, we hoped they would see the value of signing up for Twitter and directly following as many people as they wanted,” it added.

A project lead in Twitter’s Bengaluru office, who oversaw the instant messaging project, reportedly decided to shut the project since the versions of the app that Twitter tested out with users anonymously did not get good feedback.

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“It did not test out so well in the market surveys that we did with college students and I think that was one of the reasons why Twitter decided to shelve it,” the rpeort added.

Less than a week after the company announced its global layoffs at the end of October, Twitter India head, Rishi Jaitley, quit after a four-year stint.

Just a couple of days later, Parminder Singh, Twitter’s managing director for Southeast Asia, resigned too. (IANS)

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Micro-blogging Site Twitter Testing Ways to Improve ‘Lists’ Feature

Currently, the test is available in Twitter’s mobile app for those who have been opted in, TechCrunch reported

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Twitter, India, Smartphone
Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

Micro-blogging site Twitter is trying new ways to improve the ‘Lists’ feature on its platform.

The company on Tuesday announced that it has begun testing to make the feature easier to use.

The feature, remained buried inside Twitter’s interface, is intended to let users create custom timelines by adding specific users whose tweets a user is interested to track.

“Customisable timelines that are easy to access? We’re thinking about ways to do this! One idea we had is for you to be able to swipe to your lists from home. If you’re in the test tell us what you think,” Twitter posted on its handle.

The announcement gathered positive responses from the users.

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FILE – A man reads tweets on his phone in front of a displayed Twitter logo. VOA

“This is an excellent idea. Being able to order the lists would be important too. If anything makes it a toggle in Lists so we can have it if we want,” a user posted.

“Love this. Many people don’t even know about lists. I use lists all the time to cut through the noise. This is a great fix! Love the ease of access,” wrote Kyle Harris, renowned vlogger and social media commentator.

Also Read: Researchers Develop an Algorithm to Map Universe, Solve Mysteries

As of now, Twitter has not specified how many people would be added to the test.

Currently, the test is available in Twitter’s mobile app for those who have been opted in, TechCrunch reported. (IANS)