I stumbled upon a post on Pando Daily post titled Why Aren’t More Indians Using Twitter? by Sarah Lacy. It described or rather blamed Indians for Twitter not using it properly. I don’t quite agree with her and hence I thought of writing this blog post. Before you proceed, read the post over there and before commenting over there read this blog post!
I am not writing this letter to deny that facts that you wrote, many of them might be right. I am writing this letter to bring to your notice that went unnoticed.
I would quote what you wrote and then write what I feel about it. So lets begin.
… Only 33% have access to modern sanitation…
…Very few are on the Web– less than 50 million by some estimates…So when it comes to the consumer Internet, India’s gargantuan size doesn’t yet translate into users.
This small sized internet consumers doesn’t explain why India ranks second globally, in terms of YouTube video uploads, given that broadband in India is scarce. This was one of the many examples where Indians’ so-called-small-size is making a huge impact.
English is the lingua franca, but it’s hardly universally spoken. It’s spoken in the business circles in the big cities but fewer than 20 million Indians even work in the formal economy, by some estimates…
The figure is wrong. The total number of people speaking English is 125 million. It does not matter whether they use it formally or not, what matters is that they can use it! You don’t need formal English to be able to use twitter.
Yes, it’s a democracy in name, but a highly dysfunctional one. Democracy doesn’t stop India from wanting to censor information, so some of the same thorniness and PR nightmares of doing business in China apply in India.
ROFL. If Indian democracy is highly dysfunctional then I must say democracy doesn’t exist in USA :P Democracy in India is one of the most functional and we Indians have pride in it. Of course there are some issues like censorship of information but that would be tackled. It were the Americans not us who came out with PIPA and SOPA. Had our democracy been dysfunctional then the person who speculated of a coup would have been behind the bars and not trending for days on “Twitter”!! Thus ours is a highly functional democracy.
4. Middle Class
In India, “white collar” outsourcing jobs have given Indians a much bigger leg up than a factory job. But there are far far fewer of them. So overall figures about soaring incomes can be misleading.
Yeah I agree, you need to have money to buy a computer, then get an internet connection but most importantly you need to have electricity. And only the rich can tackle this completely!!
Across a host of indices like literacy, life expectancy and quality of life, India is improving at the rate of about 1% per year, according to the World Bank.
Blame corruption for that. (Yeah we Indians are very good at the blame game!)
…In fact, it’s hurt India in the past because investors and Web companies have come in enthusiastically and then pulled out once the promises of the billion person economy didn’t translate…
…And a lot of the top line metrics can be highly misleading– as many VCs and entrepreneurs have learned the hard way….
Yeah, India is a promising country but the reality is very different. Many companies have tried their luck, energy, money, ideas, etc. and failed miserably. To name a few Amazon, EBay, and the countless companies. Even Apple ever managed to sell its iPhone (yeah the genius of Steve Jobs gave up when it came to India) here nor was Motorola able to sell its mobile phone nor Samsung or Apple or MSI or Asus or Toshiba – the largest laptop manufacturers – managed to sell laptops in India. But where Amazon and EBay failed, Flipkart succeeded; where Motorola failed Nokia and Samsung succeeded; where no one succeeded HP and Dell succeeded. Do I need to go into McDonalds, KFC, and the likes, no? From all the companies mentioned above only Flipkart is Indian proving India is not a misleading market. You only need to know how to sell.
When you said that the promises of the billion person economy didn’t translate, you forgot an important lesson – Customer is always right!
But even knowing all of this, I’m still surprised that Twitter isn’t doing better in India.
You mean above points don’t imply to twitter? All of my efforts in typing the above lines are in vain now. Damn! Then why the heck did you mention them? Just because you wanted to ramble about a not-so-good-condition of one of the emerging markets!! “Technically, a woman can not be called a virgin if she is raped. But is it correct? No. In the same manner you should not call a nation poor if she had been robbed for 190 years.”
The first guy in the comments had problem with the image of the lady with the phone that you used. But I don’t have any problem with it. Read the below quote to know the reason.
Then the villager held up a cell phone. “Is this you what mean?” he seemed to ask.
The little connectivity meter on the phone display had four bars. There are significant swaths of the United States of America where one can barely pull in a signal—or gets no bars at all. But here in rural India, the signal was strong.
Quoted from the book “In the Plex – How Google Thinks, Works and Shapes our Life” by Steven Levy
Now lets think why Facebook is doing well and twitter is not. That would be post in itself. Hence I am cutting it short.
And Indians are notoriously outspoken, loving to argue and debate anything.
You have said it. Facebook offers no limits. Twitter is just 140 characters short! Even our Diwali, Christmas text greetings exceed 160 characters then how can you expect us to use Twitter. Which offers better features to argue and debate? Twitter or Facebook?
Just make a list of features offered by Facebook and list of features not offered by twitter :P and you’ll figure out why twitter is not The Thing in India. You may also look into the comments on your post. Some of them are insightful.
Considering that you are an award winning journalist, it was disappointing that you did not reply to some of the valid comments on your post. But wait, isn’t journalism different from Blogging? Sorry I take my words back. And it is very sad that you did not tag your post under Ramblings. :P
Finally I am no one and my words don’t matter hence ignore me like the commenters on your post.
(Gujarati by birth, UP-Bihari by blood, Indian by heart and human by soul.)
PS. I have no personal, economical or emotional enmity towards any person, nation, or company or anyone else mentioned above. Forgive me for my grammar.
Twitter has started verifying fictional characters. But does it make any sense to verify someone who does not have any physical existence? Imagine a ‘verified’ Batman tweeting all night to keep your twitter handle safe!
Verifying fictional characters makes very little sense. It finds use to only comics, novels, movies and tv shows that are either upcoming or currently in circulation or on air. Twitter can rake in some money from the owners of these characters to allow them to promote their movies, books, etc. on twitter. Not an important point though.
For verification, the owner of the handle must be the creator or someone appointed by him. For example, Harry Potter’s account should be verified only if its owned by J. K. Rowling or someone appointed by her. Gulliver should not get verified. But the question still remains, “Do we need verified fictional characters?” Share your views with me on twitter @rahulpandeyc and I might share them here.
A few days back I was wondering if every link clicked on Google Search opened in a new tab and then I forgot about it. But yesterday when I checked out the search settings accidentally I couldn’t stop a smile on my lips. See it for yourself…
Click to enlarge.
Yeah I might be late to know this but its never to late.
I just downloaded and tried the new Facebook messenger. It has some cool features, some not so cool features. Read On.
Your ticker is now everywhere
You can dock the messenger to the right of the screen just as the ticker sits on to the right of the Facebook screen. As you can see in the above image the messenger is on to the right. This messenger resizes other windows just like the windows gadget panels. Now you can stalk your friends every time even when you are not using Facebook, or even surfing. All you need is an internet connection.
Notifications, friend requests and messages are now everywhere
You get notifications,friends requests and messages above the ticker. Clicking on any of them will drop down a menu, just like the web version.
Message anyone for the messenger
You can message anyone from the messenger just as you do in the web version. Search him from below the chat, click his name. <pop up opens saying that he is not online,> <you curse it because you know that,> you type the message <enter>
Pop-ups for new notifications
The Clicks on ticker and else where would open your browser
This includes the ticker, friend requests, messages, notification and the profile link at the top right.
They could have had added these through a pop up, at least the ticker, as they have done with the web. But I guess they want to increase the user time on their web version hence a messenger that lest you track your and your friends’ activity everywhere but in order to contribute or engage you need to go back to the web version. But this is annoying.
You can not select whom to stay invisible
The Left one is Facebook Messenger, Right one is web version.
No Pop-ups for chat
The pop-ups that you get for Gtalk or Yahoo! Messenger are absent here. A big disappointment considering that you get pop-ups for notifications.
As I am using dial up, the profile images for some friends did not load.
Not an issue though.
There is nothing ugly in it. You’ll love it.
Verdict: Overall a decent windows software. I always wanted a messenger to chat with my Facebook friends without having to visit the website and all other services including Skype’s Facebook connect didn’t work as I wanted. This one just did the magic. Must Download and Use. Recommended highly, especially for STALKERS.
Download link:Facebook messenger
Its not available for Linux. :( Mac users wait for sometime its in the pipeline.
Update: One feature that is missing is the ability to stay invisible as in Yahoo Messenger, Skype and ohers but it depends on you how you look at it as Google Chat also does not offer to stay invisible.
When you close facebook chat it stays iny our tray and notifies of the new notifications and messages.