Ever since Twitter went public the company has struggled to match the growth expected from its investors. Now it looks like the social network may have partnered with a longtime rival in a bid to increase its user base.
This week a dedicated WhatsApp button began popping up in Twitter’s Android app. Tapping the green icon launches a small window inside the app so you can send a funny or interesting tweet straight to your WhatsApp contacts. The new feature is mainly showing up in India, where the Facebook-owned messaging service is particularly popular.
The WhatsApp icon looks out-of-place inside the Twitter app. pic.twitter.com/XDVi1rpBZB
— Amit Agarwal (@labnol) June 24, 2014
It’s likely that Twitter sees the addition of a WhatsApp button as a way to push into India’s rapidly modernizing market. Making it easy to share tweets over the service should encourage more people to sign up for a Twitter account, especially once they start receiving links to the site from their friends.
On the other hand, partnering with WhatsApp means giving its parent company Facebook a closer look at Twitter’s own data. Whether that gives the social media giant a greater advantage over the competition is unclear, but it shows how WhatsApp may have been worth the $19 billion spent to acquire it.
Zuckerberg now owns one of the most popular messaging services on earth, and if Twitter or any other company wants to take advantage of its reach they’ll need to expose themselves to Facebook.