Report: Twitter Made A Messaging App But Scrapped It

Twitter has been around for over a decade, but these days, the said social network isn't as popular as it used to be. In recent years, the San Francisco-based company has been going through an identity crisis of sorts, trying to develop all kinds of different features to increase user engagement rates. One of the most important metrics when it comes to social media platforms is a number of their active users, and Twitter hasn't been doing too great on that front, seeing how the firm is still struggling to make money from its service as advertisers don't like social networks whose users aren't sociable. This troubling state of affairs recently led to Twitter announcing significant job cuts but has also prompted the company to experiment with a number of different products to complement its microblogging platform.

As BuzzFeed now reports, one of those products was an instant messaging app which the San Francisco-based company was developing for over a year before scrapping the project. The product in question was allegedly developed at Twitter's engineering center in Bengaluru, India, and was designed as a standalone IM solution which combined tweets with instant messages. According to the said report, Twitter's developers envisioned this app as a way to introduce new users to the main Twitter app. In addition to providing Twitter feeds and instant messages, the app also enabled users to create interest-based chat groups and invite other users to join them. In fact, this unnamed app allegedly even encouraged such behavior. Apart from enabling group chats, the said feature was also designed to allow people to subscribe to groups of certain Twitter accounts whose tweets would then periodically appear in their chats.

The project was apparently scrapped not long before the company closed the said Bengaluru center in September, most likely in an effort to further reduce its operational costs. According to a source close to the company, the said messaging app was primarily designed to attract more people in emerging markets to Twitter. The company reportedly experimented with a number of different apps designed for promoting Twitter but opted for an IM solution in the end because most users in emerging markets were already familiar with the said concept, which would theoretically help adoption rates. However, initial user feedback developers received was reportedly not great, which is why Twitter decided to scrap the project. While no one at the San Francisco-based firm agreed to comment on this report, one anonymous source at Twitter India told BuzzFeed that this app was a gamble that didn't pay off, adding that for the time being, the company will be more focused on profitability at the expense of growth.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]
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