Worldwide Use of Twitter Stats

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to the author’s subscribers who are known as followers. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access.

The use of Twitter’s application programming interface for sending and receiving text messages by other applications  such as Tweetie often eclipses direct use of Twitter.

Since its creation in 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Twitter has gained notability and popularity worldwide.

Here are some stats on the use of Twitter worldwide and the implications of these stats to Twitter’s future.

Who is Searching for Twitter

According to Google Trends, as of April 2010 Brazil is the country that searches the term “twitter” the most in the world. Here is the top 10 list of countries that search for “twitter” on Google:

The increase of Brazilian users of Twitter explains why several times between December 2009 and March 2010 the trending topics list include words or terms related to Brazil and/or in Brazilian Portuguese.

To allow geographic segmentation of trending topics, Twitter introduced a feature that allows its users to change the geographic focus of the trending topics.  As of April 2010, Twitter allows its users to segment trending topics by 6 out of the top 10 countries using Twitter.

What Languages are Used on Twitter

According to the French think thank Semiocast on March 2010, English now accounts for less than 44% of messages on Twitter. Even though Twitter has headquarters in the United States, the use of Twitter has started to decrease in the region. However, the United States still accounts for 30% of the worldwide use of Twitter.

Semiocast also reports:

Twitter’s growth in Japan is on par with Twitter’s worldwide growth. Japan is the country where users tweet the most in the official language (Japanese), with 95% of tweets from Japan that are in Japanese.

The third largest Twitter nation is Brazil, with nearly 12% of messages worldwide, about 6.2 million messages per day. 85% of tweets in Portugese come from Brazil.

To identify the languages, Semiocast used technology that can identify the language in which short messages are written, differentiating between 41 languages in all major writing systems.

The most prominent languages on Twitter are English (44% of messages), Japanese (14% of messages), Portuguese (9%), Malay (6%) and Spanish (4%). Looking even further, Italian, Dutch and German each account for 1% – 2% of all messages on Twitter.

Implications for Twitter

Compete reveals that the rate of Twitter user growth has lost a lost of steam since since August 2009.

If Twitter is to continue increasing its user base, it is very important that Twitter addresses the needs of its international users.

So far, Twitter has moved in the right direction with the launch of its translation project back in October 2009.  As of April 2010, Twitter is currently available only in English, Japanese, French, Italian, German, and Spanish.

However, Twitter still has to catch up to the very similar community-driven translation project of Facebook, which resulted in the Facebook site being translated into more than 70 languages.

Author: Damian Davila

Ideas and concepts from Damian Davila, Ecuatoriano thriving in Hawaii. Pro marketer and blogger. Find him at @idaconcpts on Twitter.

4 thoughts on “Worldwide Use of Twitter Stats”

  1. I was anxiously awaiting your next article. I’m surprised that Brazil leads the pack. I wonder the breakdown of actual users is instead of people just searching “twitter.” Where are you from?

  2. Nice to see you again Zadling! Brazil is a powerhouse in a lot fields. Not only they are the most Internet connected in South America but also very advanced in nuclear technology.
    Regarding an actual breakdown of users, I don’t know of specific figures that go beyond some geo-tagging research done by organizations such as Semiocast (mentioned in this article).
    However, since the list of top 10 countries searching for “twitter” on Google closely matches the list of countries that you can select from to track the trending topics on Twitter, so it is a good approximation.
    I’m from Ecuador but I live in Honolulu, HI.
    Have a great weekend!

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