New Delhi. Just a day after announcing that it will introduce Promoted Tweets in an attempt towards monetization, Twitter has now unveiled its ambitious plan to launch a news channel in India. It wants to ride on the popularity it enjoys in India; especially the kind of support celebrities have shown has been instrumental in making Twitter decide about it. One more thing that goes in Twitter’s favor is the rate at which it has successfully generated fresh and spicy content, without which today’s news scenario is unimaginable.
“Yes, it’s a logical progression for us. We had been eying it and closely observing the Indian news scene. We are very excited about the whole project.” said Evan Williams, Co-founder, Twitter, though he appeared little secretive and didn’t want to divulge much details about it. When asked about the search for an Indian partner for the venture, he chose not to answer.
According to our sources, Twitter’s foray in news has set the alarm bells ringing in news channels across India. Newsroom discussions reveal that the top brass of every news channel is busy making strategies to counter Twitter News before it goes on air, while the journalists are happy at the prospects of getting a better salary and benefits with a new player joining the race.
“I was denied promotion and salary hike on account of recession last year, and this year I could again be denied the same as my boss had an ugly fight with me last night during office party. My only hope is to join Twitter’s news channel.” a Producer in a leading news channel said on conditions of anonymity.
Management of leading news channels are well aware of these threats and have reportedly finalized some strategies to counter them. Probable strategies include hiring the duplicates of celebrities, as it’s feared that most of the celebrities might just choose Twitter News to voice their views. Reporters are also being asked to innovate and religiously follow the social networking sites, thus lifting the ban on such sites in the offices.
Some channels have even gone to the extent of launching their own social networking sites trying to look like Twitter and naming their sites as Scooter, Sweater, GalaTar, Teether, and even Kabootar.
Though, unconfirmed, it is also widely known in the industry now that Twitter will sport a permanent ‘Exclusive’ bug apart from the channel logo as it is pretty confident that all content will be exclusive to Twitter.
While talking to Faking News, Evan Williams emphasized on the social responsibility of the channel and said, ‘”We plan to have Indian Sparrow as our logo instead of the usual blue bird, as it’s on the verge of extinction.”
All efforts are being made to woo Shashi Tharoor to make him the head of India Operations as he is believed to be quite an expert in creating juicy issues which Indian viewers savor. Talks are on to rope in Lalit Modi also to launch the regional versions of the channel. But every care is being taken to make their offices as far from each other as possible.
Clearly, things are shaping well for this popular networking site. And soon the rules of the game for the Indian media industry can go for a ‘see’ change.