SMS GupShup, a Twitter-like service in India that is primarily accessed via SMS, is announcing a number of new milestones today, including that the service is processing over 2 billion messages per month (up from 480 million messages a month a year ago) and is adding over 1 million members per month.
Launched in April 2007, SMS GupShup (spawned from Webaroo) serves 45 million users (which is up from 26 million users last year) across India. The startup has seen rapid growth in users primarily due to the immense popularity of mobile devices in India.
The company’s is also revealing that it is seeing record revenue. Revenue increased by over 400% in 2010 despite a ten-day SMS ban by the Indian government issued in advance of the verdict to the highly controversial Babri Mosque land dispute that raised tensions between Muslim and Hindu groups.
The seeing strong use of the platform from advertisers and brands. Businesses can target users based on location and community. Advertisers on the platform include Pepsi, eBay, ICICI Lombard, Microsoft, Cadbury, Vodafone, Nokia, Ford, Puma, Maybelline, Dell, Kingfisher, Sun Microsystems and ING Financial.
While SMS GupShup is seeing traction, I’m curious how the network will continue to fare as Facebook and Twitter continue to grow in the country. As more consumers have access to the internet, it would make sense that these services will attract more members, especially as they serve as a conduit to members outside of India.