Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Most Twitter Users are Outside the US

Most Twitter Users are Outside the US
It may seem like Twitter is all the rage in the United States, right? It is, but according to the company, Twitter has seen huge international growth lately. In a blog posted last week, Twitter's Matt Sanford, the lead engineer for the International Team, said that over 60% of Twitter accounts are from outside the United States and this has been the case since around September of last year.

In addition to English, Twitter is available in other languages, including French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish. There are several reasons for the increase in international numbers. In November, Twitter.com was made available in Spanish for the first time, and Sanford writes that the social networking site immediately saw a boost in Spanish-speaking countries (about 50%). He also mentions that after the earthquake in Chile, people signed up to use the website as a communication tool. Most of the 1200% increase in new accounts were also from Spanish language users.

In several countries, when a politician begins using the tool to reach his or her constituents, you can bet that an increase in new users will come about as well. In Colombia, Piedad Cordoba Ruiz began using Twitter and sign ups increased 300%. In India, politician Shashi Tharoor and Bollywood stars Sharukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, and Abhishek Bachchan signed up for accounts and that's all it took for the country to see a 100% increase in the number of users.

In the post, Sanford says they've also been working to bring Twitter to countries like Indonesia and Haiti. He also reiterated what Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said at a recent CTIA conference, indicating Twitter wants to make itself available in as many countries and languages as possible. They're also working to bring more mobile phone users to Twitter, people who may not have computers. Stone said, "When a farmer in a rural village in a Third World nation can get the simplest of news over SMS, a weather report or whatever, it can have a dramatic impact."

According to PC World, Twitter better hurry up. Another microblogging service, Plurk, is gaining ground in many countries and is available in more languages, including Arabic, Russian, Turkish, Dutch, Chinese, Hindi, and Slovenian. It outranks Twitter is Taiwan, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

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