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News: ELON MUSK, the billionaire chief executive of Tesla Inc., is now willing to proceed with his original plan to buy Twitter after seemingly backing down earlier. On Tuesday, he tweeted: 'Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app.'
What are Super Apps?
• A super app is a platform developed by a company offering various services under one umbrella.
• For example, WeChat, which started out as a messaging app, expanded into payments, shopping, food ordering, cab services, etc. to become a super app.
Who makes them?
• Typically, companies that have a slew of services and products to offer tend to consolidate them into a super app. The concept first emerged in China and Southeast Asian countries like Thailand and Indonesia, where Internet companies like WeChat and Grab leveraged the customer traffic on their platforms that originally came for social media and communication needs.
• They then offered these customers additional services, leading to increased revenue realizations.
• According to Internet consultancy firm RedSeer, these businesses see high customer footfall and high repeat purchase frequency, both critical parameters for a super app's growth.
• TataNeu, the super app launched in India this year, aligns more with this approach.
What about Indian companies?
• India is a market where most people are experiencing the Internet for the first time on their mobile phones. This is one of the main reasons why Indian companies are looking at building super apps.
• Apart from increased revenue realization with the consolidation of services, such apps also provide companies with large swaths of consumer data which can then be harnessed to learn more about user behavior.
• Apart from TataNeu, Reliance Industries under its Jio umbrella has consolidated offerings such as shopping, content streaming, groceries etc.
• Paytm has also brought together services like payments, ticket bookings, games and online shopping.
What are concerns?
• Risk of monopoly.
• There are also concerns about privacy in cases where a super app has on boarded third-party service providers. Experts point out that data collected by the master app could be used to train machines in artificial intelligence and predict consumer behavior.
• It is one of the main reasons why super apps have not picked pace in countries such as the US and the UK, the experts say.