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Twitter will likely continue to thrive in India as a survey predicts little behavioural change in the 23.6 million strong Indian user base.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Musk now owns Twitter. Twitter announced its acquisition for US$44 billion. While we speculate about Musk’s intentions regarding Twitter, evil or self-destructive, Musk, an ardent Twitter user, has made quite a few remarks about what he intends to do with the platform, spawning a whirlwind of conversations and reactions from Indian netizens.

Read more: What challenges does the metaverse pose? Developers say data privacy security, disinformation & hate speech

Twitter users in India are mostly happy with the platform’s acquisition by Musk. In fact, a fifth have no reaction to this move. Under Musk’s leadership, a majority of Twitter users in India believe that the platform will become the most powerful social medium.

India has 23.6 million Twitter users, ranked third after the US and Japan. That’s a sizeable market and not to be ignored

According to Statista’s March 2022 numbers, India has 23.6 million Twitter users, ranked third after the US and Japan. That’s a sizeable market and not to be ignored.

According to a YouGov Omnibus survey conducted among 1,005 urban Indian respondents, close to two in five (37%) Indian Twitter users are happy about the platform’s acquisition by Elon Musk, with urban Indian millennial users most supportive.

Anticipated User Behaviour Unchanged

While three in ten Indian Twitter users (29%) expressed surprised by this move, a fifth (22%) remained unaffected by the news. Any negative emotions like worry, sadness and anger or unawareness of the acquisition, are much lower (8% and 5%, respectively).

Anticipated user behaviour by dint of the change in leadership remains unchanged as close to two-thirds (64%) of the current users say they will continue using the platform as always.

Considering the size of the Indian Twitter market, this is good news for the social media giant.

Indian Millennials Believe in Musk

The survey predicts changes such as modifying user behaviour on the platform (8%) or switching to other social media platforms (16%) only for a small proportion of Twitter users.

While men are more likely than women to say they plan to stick to their regular usage (66% vs 61%), women are more inclined towards modifying their behaviour on the platform (11% women vs 5% men).

In India, the Twitter community is not just happy with Elon Musk acquiring the platform, they also believe in his leadership. Data shows that a majority (61%) of Twitter users in India agree with the statement, “Twitter will become the most powerful social media platform under Elon Musk’s leadership”. 

Interestingly, millennial users (70%) are stronger advocates of this view than Gen X (54%) and Gen Z (59%). Certainly, good news for the company since the global Twitter audience is mostly composed of users from this cohort.

Free Speech: 49%

Elon Musk alone has more than 83 million followers on Twitter, who calls himself a free speech absolutist. Recently, Musk has repeatedly said that he wants to ‘transform’ the platform by promoting more free speech and giving users more control.

When Twitter members in India were asked how the potential removal of moderation would affect the future of the platform, almost half agreed this move may make the platform a place for healthy debates and free speech (49%).

Read more: Reuters probe about Amazon’s unfair business practices in India reveals the big bad side of big tech

Half of this number (26%) thinks otherwise and believes this could encourage hate speech and misinformation. While 14% remained unsure, slightly over one in ten (11%) believe moderation may have no drastic impact on the platform.


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