Where Twitter’s next big boost is coming from

TwitterThat Twitter has been expanding well outside the borders of the United States is well known. It’s becoming a global social media phenomenon and much of its growth is currently coming from this international expansion. We thought it would be interesting to investigate where Twitter is growing the fastest right now.

By looking at traffic data to Twitter.com, we’ve identified several countries where Twitter is currently growing rapidly (this year). These are not necessarily countries that have a ton of Twitter users yet, but rather places where the traffic curve is pointing sharply upwards.

(The traffic estimates in this article are from Google’s Trends for Websites service.)

Latin America coming strong

One interesting thing we noticed when going through the traffic data is that Twitter seems to be growing rapidly in several Latin American countries (links below lead to each country’s traffic page on Google Trends for Websites):

Traffic to Twitter.com from Latin American countries
Above: The graphs show traffic to Twitter.com through 2009 until now.

These are not small countries. Together, they have almost 150 million Internet users that Twitter can potentially tap into. For perspective, there are 234 million Internet users in the United States.

Strong growth in Asia

A second area where Twitter seems to be getting a boost is in Asia, especially in East Asia, accounting for three out of the four countries we list here below.

Traffic to Twitter.com from Asian countries
Above: The graphs show traffic to Twitter.com through 2009 until now.

Once again, a lot of Internet users to go for. Together, these four countries have 230 million Internet users. (An interesting aside: Japan actually has more Internet users than India, in spite of India’s huge overall population.)

That is roughly the equivalent of the number of Internet users in the United States.

Twitter is also getting increasing amounts of traffic from other parts of Asia, such as Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and so on.

Other countries on the rise

Twitter’s expansion does not end with the countries we’ve listed above. Here are a few other countries where traffic to Twitter.com has increased a lot so far this year:

Traffic to Twitter.com from Russia, Spain and Italy
Above: The graphs show traffic to Twitter.com through 2009 until now.

These three countries have 104 million Internet users between them (Russia alone has 45 million).

And there are many other countries where Twitter is growing (most European countries, for example). We simply cherry picked the ones where this year’s traffic increase to Twitter.com is extra sharp.

Huge potential

The countries we’ve listed in this article have a total of 483 million Internet users. That’s a lot of room for Twitter to keep growing. And note that we have only highlighted the most rapidly growing countries. It’s not like Twitter has no presence or growth elsewhere. (And Twitter is clearly growing fast.)

Growing internationally is important if Twitter wants to become the pulse of the web. The United States may be big, but it’s worth remembering that the country only accounts for 13% of the world’s Internet users.

A final word on language

Another fascinating aspect here is language. So far, the dominant language on Twitter has been English. However, with the exception of India, none of these countries are big on using English. This means that the number of non-English tweets will increase significantly in the coming year(s).

This is of course an inevitable consequence of Twitter going global, but it will be interesting to see how Twitter and its users adapt.

Data sources: Google Trends for Websites for traffic data, Internet World Stats for Internet user numbers.

1 comment

  1. I wish you can post a article about twitter technology info, the same way you wrote about facebook, awesome article, thanks a lot. Look forward to see twitter details. Thanks!

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