#ThinkPH: Twitter's Rishi Jaitly on disruption – Spot it and scale it

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MANILA, Philippines – "We obsess over spotting disruption on Twitter and scaling it."

This was the main idea behind the talk of Rishi Jaitly, Twitter's vice president of Asia Pacific and Middle East-North Africa, at Rappler's #ThinkPH seminar held at the Newport Performing Arts Theater on Thursday, July 21.

Jaitly addressed the crowd by mentioning that there are forms of disruption – innovations that create or otherwise shake the existing foundations of value networks – everywhere.

Twitter, he said, emphasizes being sensitive to these disruptions and then leveraging them accordingly to make Twitter more valuable to people. Entities – whether persons with great ideas or a company looking to make something new – have to be "highly empathetic and notice behavior you might want to scale" in a given country, market, or demographic.

Jaitly mentioned the disruptive power of Twitter in Filipinos' daily lives. "What we see happening, of course, around the world is Twitter in the middle of culture."

From the expansive use of hashtags to having presidential candidate emojis, Twitter is unique as a disruptive technology for the Filipino at large.

Jaitly compared Twitter to the printing press, which democratized and spread information quickly and accurately. He explained that much like the printing press, Twitter was a realization of the vision of truly frictionless publishing.

This is because Twitter provides a confluence culture. As Jaitly explained, "What's happening is that confluence. It used to be that someone was in politics, someone was in music, someone was in sports. Now they all meet, and they meet on Twitter."

Twitter, he added, is "in the middle of pop culture in ways we could have never predicted ever since" Twitter's first tweet. How Twitter responds to its own nature of disruption is important.

Twitter is being used in novel ways. These include the social media phenomenon serving as an enhanced platform for public service in India, or as a means of sharing live updates to the world about current goings-on or particularly important cultural or historical events.

Jaitly reminds users to approach disruption by listening first. "Spot early evidence of interesting things happening, whether, for instance, it's the use of a hashtag, and scale that up in big ways." Rappler.com

Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.