Twitter has fast become one of the most used social platforms in the world today. We have to admit that while a huge number of its users are English speakers (or writers, maybe?), the market for non-English speakers is just as huge. This is perhaps the reason that Twitter has expanded and created its first ever foreign language mobile version: in Japanese.
You may not know it, but Japan is one of the few countries which have not been penetrated by social networking web sites! This may be a surprise, but it is true nonetheless. The Press Association has the story:
Twitter teamed up with Tokyo-based internet firm Digital Garage in early 2008. It launched a Japanese-language platform for PCs in the spring of 2008, and hired a Japan country manager earlier this year.
“It’s an excellent opportunity for us to see where we can go in Asia in general because Japan represents a leading edge, with advanced mobile usage,” said Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, who travelled to Tokyo for the launch. “Mobile is in Twitter’s DNA.”
It looks like Japan is going to be only the first of many other foreign language platforms. In the same report, it was said that in the near future, we can expect versions in Spanish, German, French, and Italian. More than the language, though, Twitter is going to use the Japan site to test other features that are not currently available in the English site. I wonder how the Japanese are going to respond to this move?