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Dick Costolo departure does not impact our plans, claims Twitter's Parminder Singh

29 June 2015
Dick Costolo departure does not impact our plans, claims Twitter's Parminder Singh

Twitter is not planning to deviate from its current strategy, despite the recent change of management at the company, according to its emerging markets leader Parminder Singh.

Speaking exclusively to M&M Global, Singh – Twitter’s managing director for South East Asia, India and MENA – insisted the departure of chief executive Dick Costolo, and appointment of co-founder Jack Dorsey as interim replacement, will not impact future plans.

“We have a very strong product strategy. Dick and Jack have both been involved in this strategy, and the changes are a signal of continuity. We continue on the strategy we have, outlined almost a year back,” said Singh.

Singh was in Cannes last week to help promote two of Twitter’s latest products. ‘Autoplay’ will allow videos to play automatically, with sound activated with one click: “As an advertiser, you pay only when someone gets a video 100% and for at least three seconds – that’s a strong and confident move.

“The completion of an autoplay ad is seven times more than a normal video, so we think it’s a great thing for advertisers.”

Meanwhile, ‘Project Lightning’ builds on Twitter’s initial steps into content curation, collecting tweets relating to a specific event, be it political, cultural or sporting.

“Project Lightning curates key moments that are relevant for you, which might be happening while you’ve been off Twitter,” said Singh. “Say there’s a big game happening, a political or cultural event – it’s our attempt at curating the best of what Twitter has to offer.”

Wider influence

Despite complaints from analysts and investors that Twitter has not been able to grow its user base rapidly enough, Singh is quick to defend the platform. As well as its 300 million logged-in users, he claims Twitter can also influence its 500 million “logged-out” users and 700 million syndicated users on third-party sites.

“The impact of Twitter goes way beyond its boundaries, and we are moving to a direction where advertisers and brands understand how Twitter’s influence transcends wider. We are like the pulse of society – whatever happens offline happens on Twitter,” he said.

Singh said that brands in the regions he oversees have learned that that should engage with major events, from the Cricket World Cup to Ramadan. However, he believes those advertisers must open themselves up to “co-creation” to fully take advantage of relevant communications.

“Consumers want to be part of the way a brand is shaped in their landscape. They want to be treated as equals by brands, using technology like Twitter,” said Singh.

“The idea of co-creation is something we believe strongly in. Brands using the power of interactivity to co-shape, co-create a brand and advertising experience.”

Alex Brownsell, London

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