Twitter is buying an India-based mobile marketing startup for an undisclosed sum, as it seeks to attract users in the developing world.
The Bangalore-based ZipDial allows consumers interested in a company’s services to dial its number and hang up before connecting. The company then sends them free text messages, app notifications and voice calls containing advertisements. The so-called “missed call” marketing means users aren’t charged for the service, because their initial call never connects.
Twitter will use ZipDial to reach consumers who aren’t connected to the Internet. ZipDial’s campaigns have reached nearly 60 million users, the Wall Street Journal reports, and could be used to reach users in Indonesia and Brazil. The company has 56 employees.
Consumers in countries like India, Brazil and Indonesia with developing Internet infrastructures are key markets for Twitter, and 77% of the social network’s 284 million monthly active users are outside the United States.
“By coming together with ZipDial, we’ll help more people around the world enjoy great and relevant Twitter experiences on their mobile phones,” Twitter said in a statement.