Airtel Kenya has announced that its prepaid customers will get free access to the social media service Twitter through 15 January 2015, via web browsers or Twitter’s Android or Windows Phone apps. While the access is free, users will be charged for data use if they want to view an external link through Twitter.
This limited-time offer seems to be an excellent way for an operator in a developing market to promote data use. Prepaid users—traditionally less data-hungry—who are introduced to Twitter through the promotion and acquire an appetite for it are likely to continue using the service and consuming data after 15 January. That would drive revenue to Airtel in the long run, and even in the short run, the operator stands to gain revenue from data charges incurred if customers choose to access external content via Twitter.