Amid Row With Centre, India Among First Markets as Twitter 'Locally Tailors' its Global Product

India will be one of the first countries in which Twitter pilots a new approach of building an in-market team to “locally tailor” its global product to the needs of the region, according to the microblogging platform. Twitter is scouting for a ‘Staff Designer’ as part of its strategy, even as the social media giant races against time to appoint key executives under the new IT rules. While job listings on the Careers section on Twitter website show positions of Chief Compliance Officer, Nodal Officer and Resident Grievance Officer open in India, there is also an open position for ‘Staff Designer – Global Participation, India’.

Twitter India Managing Director Manish Maheshwari also tweeted about the post. In his tweet, he said the company is hiring in the country, and invited suitable candidates to design for India, and design in India. In the job description for ‘Staff Designer – Global Participation, India’, Twitter said the chosen candidate will help the company establish a bespoke product strategy for Twitter in India and execute against it with support from a dedicated local team. “India is one of Twitter’s key markets and will be one of the first countries in which we pilot this new approach of building an in-market team to locally tailor our global product to the needs of a specific region,” it said.

Twitter has an estimated 1.75 crore users in India, as per data cited by the government recently. On its website, the social media platform said the Staff Designer for India will be expected to help customise the Twitter experience for customers in the country, and “highlight gaps in our global product strategy and ensure that Twitter is successful and locally relevant across the country”. The Staff Designer will work with a horizontal cross-functional team covering everything from engineering to business development and product marketing.

There was, however, no mention on the timeline for executing the new approach. Twitter declined to comment on queries on the issue. Earlier this week, Twitter communicated to the Indian government that it is in advanced stages of finalising the appointment of chief compliance officer as required under the new IT rules, and that it will submit additional details within a week.

In its reply to the final notice of the government, Twitter had said that it is making all efforts to comply with the new guidelines but has been unable to do so because of the global impact of COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement this week, Twitter said it has assured the Government of India that the platform is making every effort to comply with the new guidelines, and an overview on the progress has been duly shared. The new IT rules for social media companies that came into effect last month, mandate large platforms like Facebook and Twitter to undertake greater due diligence and make these digital platforms more accountable and responsible for the content hosted by them. Under the rules, significant social media intermediaries — those with over 50 lakh users — are required to appoint a grievance officer, a nodal officer and a chief compliance officer. These personnel have to be residents in India. Further, social media companies will have to take down flagged content within 36 hours, and remove within 24 hours content that is flagged for issues such as nudity and pornography. The social media firm has had several faceoffs with the government, including during the farmers’ protest and later when it tagged political posts of several leaders of the ruling party BJP as “manipulated media”.

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