Twitter highlights Asian success stories

A recent post on the official Twitter blog looked at how the service is being used across the world in new, growth markets.

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.

Of the 10 countries referenced – all of which are in so-called ‘developing markets’ – there is reference to four of Asia’s most prominent countries (including China where it is blocked) with examples of their respective uses of the service:

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.

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.”

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.

The four Asian markets chosen are arguably four of the most visible from a western perspective, which is somewhat disappointing as Twitter has been used with great enterprise in a number of other, less likely Asian countries, such as:

Indonesia, where Twitter enjoys the higher penetration per population than anywhere else in the world. The country’s growing use of mobile internet and smartphone ownership is giving Twitter a huge opportunity to make inroads into mainstream adoption. Arguably not a mainstream service anywhere in the world, parts of Asia are amongst the best opportunities Twitter has at finding mass market adoption.

Philippines, where President Aquino’s campaign made use of social media extensively in the run up to the country’s elections and the country makes extensive use of SMS-to-tweet services.

Thailand, where it is currently being used to provide ‘live’ report developments in the country’s worst flooding for 30 years – see this Nation article – while Twitter was an important resource for up to date news from the political protests which brought Bangkok to a stand still, and saw civilian deaths earlier this year.

Asia is one focus market for the service with Twitter promising to make the service “easier and more locally relevant” with volunteers working on translating into a number of languages of which Japanese is included. For many Asian countries, the lack of local language within Twitter itself has not stopped the service gaining traction and adoption thus far with the region exhibiting since that its Twitter usage will continue to grow strongly.