If a company or individual owns a world renowned and highly accessible platform, it opens many business and commercial options for it/him. For instance, a blog or website having good viewers would also have good Google page rank and Alexa rank. Such blog/website would also have good online advertisement rates and revenues. Such blog/website would also have world wide reach and audience that every potential business would like to approach.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc and other similar highly reputed and famous websites have the advantage of reaching millions of potential customers immediately and instantaneously. This is the reason why they are frequently approached by numerous companies for alliances and partnerships.
These websites have also realised the potential and profitability aspects of e-commerce ventures. They have been trying different business strategies to explore e-commerce fields. The latest to join this wagon band is Twitter. According to media reports, Twitter is exploring ways to sell products directly from its platform. It is also in the process of integrating a secure payment mechanism within its platform so that purchases can be made directly from the website/tweets.
While technological challenges can be managed by Twitter with some efforts yet legal issues would still haunt it. Twitter is a cyberspace product and model and conflict of laws in cyberspace would be a big challenge for it. For instance, if Twitter wishes to extend the proposed e-commerce services to India, it has to comply with legal issues of e-commerce in India. Trans border taxation issues are also required to be keep in mind by Twitter. The liability of Twitter for Indian income tax would also arise in future as the corporate and legal environment is fast changing in India.
The risk management and compliance issues would also arise for Twitter in India. For instance, e-commerce companies and websites are required to comply with many Indian laws including the Information Technology Act, 2000. They cannot avoid their liability in India for too long. Google’s Online Defamation Case is a good pointer in this regard and if Twitter is serious in exploring Indian market, it cannot ignore compliance with Indian laws.
It is too early for Twitter to comment anything upon these developments. But there is nothing better than formulating a techno legal strategy by Twitter for its Indian operations well in advance to avoid any legal problems.