A World of Tweets

Friday, 22 October 2010

Twitter shortens the distance between people and provides access to different cultures and events around the world that may otherwise remain contained to a locality. In fact, as this post is being written, worldwide trending topics include Tweets about a Moscow soccer team, a Brazilian politician and a Dutch TV show character.

Our rapid worldwide growth means that there are amazing stories emerging everyday about Twitter use in very different places. While there are many similarities in usage, we’re watching closely how people in different countries get value out of Twitter in their own unique ways.

Here are some recent examples of Twitter’s impact around the world:

Brazil - This year, all three Presidential candidates were tweeting about their campaign in the first round of the election, and the community responded with their own voice throughout. Time also asked this week: “Why is Twitter so popular in Brazil” and provided insight into service’s impact on mainstream Brazilians.

Chile - Sign-ups after the earthquake spiked 500% and have continued to grow since. Last week, the world united in their support and relief to see the Chilean miner rescue. We even saw Tweets from the president himself.

China - The wife of Nobel Peace Prize winner, Liu Xiaobo, is under house arrest but has a Twitter account. Recent commentary from a Beijing media critic says that Twitter is promoting subtle social progress in China.

Ecuador - The president declared a state of emergency via Twitter during civil unrest after days of protests by the federal police. Leaders around the world responded openly with Tweets of support for solidarity and democracy.

Haiti - Twitter use played a critical role in crisis response after the earthquake this year, which also lead our mobile team to build a new feature called Fast Follow to allow people to follow sources via regular mobile phones without creating an account.

India - There are five times as many users in India as there were a year ago, a growth fueled by usage from high-profile users like Bollywood stars, politicians and cricket players.

Japan - Outside of the United States, more Tweets come from Japan than any other country. The high-level of mobile connectivity there plays a big role and, according the the Associated Press, Twitter “tapped into a greater sense of individuality in Japan.”

Nigeria - We are seeing increasing usage of Twitter across Africa, especially in larger populations such as Nigeria. In fact, news of a bomb explosion a few weeks ago broke on Twitter helping people avoid affected areas.

Russia - When President Medvedev started an account at Twitter HQ, we saw 300% growth in sign-ups the next day and have seen steady growth in activity and high-profile Russian use ever since.

South Korea - Twitter accounts have doubled since June when a “go and vote” campaign spread online and the office of the president began tweeting in hopes of creating better communication with voters.

Providing a truly global platform for people to exchange information and perspectives about their world requires Twitter to make the service easier and more locally relevant in all corners of the globe. This is why we and our teams of volunteer translators are continuously translating Twitter.com into Japanese, Spanish, German, French and Italian and plan to expand to other languages soon.