Twitter was looking to buy ShareChat, an Indian social media and social networking service according to TechCrunch. The microblogging major had its eyes on Moj, India’s own short video app developed by ShareChat and wanted to establish it as TikTok’s competitor in the international markets. Also Read: What’s wrong with Google? After Timnit Gebru, search giant fires another AI ethicist Margaret Mitchell
Broad view: Twitter is an investor in ShareChat that has been described by BBC as “India’s homegrown rival to WhatsApp. According to TechCrunch’s Manish Singh Twitter offered to buy ShareChat or $1.1 billion and had committed an additional investment of $900 million.
Before TikTok was banned in India, the ByteDance owned app successfully competed with Facebook and Instagram. With over 80 million users, Moj also recently attracted investments from Snap. The American social giant integrated its camera kit to bring augmented reality features to Moj. Also Read: Twitter acquires Revue to get into newsletter business
What’s in it for Twitter: Twitter has failed to tap into the huge Indian market and is relegated to big cities and is still looked at as an ‘elite’ platform for journalists and politicians. Earlier in January, Twitter partnered with Dailyhunt to bring Moments to the users of the Indian content and news aggregator app. Twitter is under pressure from investors to increase its reach and accelerate growth, especially in India. In January, Twitter managed to reach about 75 million users, according to AppAnnie.
Moj is growing exponentially in India and has a large following in tier-2 and tier-3 cities. Headquartered in Bangalore, famously referred to as India’s Silicon Valley, ShareChat boasts of having over 160 million users in India and offers its services in as many as 15 different languages. Also Read: Facebook, Twitter come under government and rights groups scanner for misuse and bias
But, Twitter and ShareChat aren’t talking to each other anymore. Sources have revealed that the Indian social media service is now looking at investments from Google and Snap. Also Read: Hate speech on social media: Four French NGOs take Twitter to court over its inability to prevent hate from spreading on the platform
The reason talks failed between ShareChat and Twitter are not known. Both Twitter and ShareChat haven’t commented on the fallout.