Tech

How Angkas Went from Ride-Hailing App to Everyone's Favorite Twitter Account

If it's a marketing gimmick, it's working.
IMAGE Twitter - Angkas (@angkas)
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The tweet says “choose your fighter,” reminiscent of PVP videogames. Attached to the tweet are two pictures, both screenshots of text messages: one is a long text from Angkas driver Joefrey Sudeste, informing his customer that he’s on his way. Joefrey’s text ends with a Bible verse for the day.

The other photo, also from an Angkas driver, features two text messages. The second message is similar to Joefrey’s, with the unnamed Angkas driver saying he is 5 minutes away from the pickup location. The first message? A link, accidentally pasted, to a 4k-quality video on a porn website.


Engagement on this tweet, sent from the offical Angkas (@angkas) account, has so far recieved 7,300 likes and 1,100 retweets. It’s a perfect example of the witty millennial-speak that has won @Angkas high user engagement—something that many other brands can only dream of.

“Everything is instantaneous,” says a representative from the Angkas marketing team who has asked to remain nameless. “I’m just glad that they trust me enough to do it.”

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Being instantaneous is a must when it comes to Twitter, where memes and replies appear faster than you can refresh. It also allows Angkas to be in constant conversation with their followers, appearing as a close friend rather than just another company account.

Angkas Instagram and Facebook feeds are more conventional, with posts in proper grammar sharing promo codes and announcements as they become relevant. There’s a funny quip here and there, but nowhere near its now-legendary Twitter humor. 

It goes without saying that the Angkas Instagram and Facebook pages don’t boast the same high engagement as their Twitter feed. These shifting identities seem to go against the PR rule of brand consistency, but the rep—let's call her or him "@Angkas"—says that, when it comes to social media, “the persona adjusts depending on which social media channel we deem effective to use that persona on.”

@Angkas adds, “Different social media platforms carry their own specific audiences. The Twitter account mostly speaks to millennials, which is a good, if not huge, chunk of our target market.” Angkas is still the app of choice for a lot of millennials, who’d rather weave in and out of traffic on a motorcycle than spend hours sitting in a car. 

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Creating a millennial online persona, however, isn’t without it’s troubles. In the politically divisive Twitterscape, @Angkas went serious when responding to a picture of Angkas drivers supporting Bong Go’s bid for senator. “Ayaw niyo ng joke so hindi ito joke,” the thread begins. “We believe you use Angkas because of the skills of our bikers, and not their political views.” The thread received the same amount of engagement as their usual witty posts, averaging about 1,000 likes per Tweet.


@Angkas tweeted an official statement from company CEO Angeline Tham the next day. Though the statement itself was sober, it was accompanied with the caption, “Aaaaah ayan pinagalitan ako ng amo ko, andami ko raw hanash.”

Since the Twitter account thrives on spontaneity, their approach is one of tweet first, clarify later. “Should the ‘bosses' find something too inappropriate, the tweet is taken down,” @Angkas tells us.


“An example of the no-fly zone tweet would be the time I used a porn meme to get a message across. It got picked up very quickly, but it was also taken down within an hour or two.” Links to porn, though, seem to be fine.

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There’s no manual when it comes to the Angkas feed, which is part of its charm. @Angkas is quick to admit, though, that this persona—as with many things that live online—is open to change. “To be fair, we haven't found the perfect ‘identity’ for us to settle on. Cliché as it may sound, but we're still trying to find ourselves.”

Not too fast, sis. We’re hoping this persona sticks around for a little while longer.


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About The Author
Gaby Flores
Gaby Flores is a contributing writer for Esquire. She likes postcolonial literature and spicy food.
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