India uses Twitter to thank an icon

sachin tendulkarIndia is a growing market for business and technology of all types, as shown by the recent announcement of an Indian space programme. A little bit closer to earth, social media is thriving in India too. As it prepares to IPO today, Twitter is seeing significant growth in the country.

Indeed, many see this as a a market that is only moving in one direction, thanks to to the growing influx of mobile phones. Surprisingly, Twitter only touched on the country and its population of well over one billion briefly in its pre-IPO filing.

There is of course no better way to get Indian’s excited about something than to link it to cricket. As you can imagine then, there was rather a lot of excitement when legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar joined Twitter back in 2010.

Three years on though it is time for “The Little Magician” to put away the pads, and he has announced his retirement from international cricket. In response the Indian cricket authorities have launched an enormous thank you campaign on Twitter, based on the hashtag #thankyouSachin.

There have been lots of similar thank you campaigns for sports stars before. Golden Wonder and Bottle PR even set up a board for Tottenham Hotspur fans outside the club’s White Hart Lane stadium to display messages of thanks to Gareth Bale when he left for Real Madrid.

In typical Tendulkar fashion, this is a bit different though. Not only is pretty much the whole of India who is on Twitter united behind this iconic sportsman as opposed to supporters of just one club, but a digitally autographed picture will also be sent to every fan who tweets the BCCI with the #thankyouSachin tag.

Twitters India market director Rishi Jaitly has blogged about the service’s development in India over the years.  Tweeters in the vast country have used Twitter to celebrate sport, and report on protests and attacks, but it has has all culminated in this huge campaign, based around one of the country’s biggest icons.