Twitter now only 50% English, followed by Japanese, Portuguese and Malaysian/Indonesian

Monday, March 01, 2010

Good, we have some new Twitter numbers. You may remember a post here from January and another here from September showing Portuguese to be the second-most used language on Twitter. According to those studies English was in first place with 65% and then 61%. Now we have some new numbers saying that English makes up just about 50% of the messages there, followed by Japanese with 14%, Portuguese with 9%, Malaysian (including Indonesian) with 6%, Spanish with 4%, and then Italian, Dutch and German each have about 1% or 2%.

The reason for the low Spanish numbers compared to Portuguese is probably because Portuguese is mostly concentrated in a single country (Brazil) where popular activities can quickly become a part of the mainstream, whereas Spanish, while spoken by more than Portuguese, is divided up among a large number of countries. Japanese suddenly shooting up like this (last time it only made up 6%) probably has something to do with this as well, since once it becomes popular it can pervade the entire country and thus pretty much the entire population than speaks the language.

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