The distribution of languages on Twitter

According to a study conducted by Semiocast, a French company dedicated to web analytics and deep consumer insight, English is the dominant language of Twitter with 34% of tweets posted in September 2013 being in English.

Japanese is the second most used language on Twitter with 16%, the third being Spanish with 12%, followed by Malay with 8% and Arabic and Portuguese with 6% each. 2% of tweets are in French and Turkish respectively, followed by Thai and Korean with 1% each. All the other languages put together make up 12% of tweets.

In addition to the dominance of English, Semiocast’s study also confirms the popularity of Twitter in the Far East. Another study, conducted by PeerReach in November 2013 shows that 9.6% of active users of Twitter are from Japan, making it second only to the United States with 24.3% of users. It is worth noting that these figures are limited by the fact that PeerReach defines active Twitter users as those who compose and post tweets. Approximately 40% of monthly Twitter users just log on and read the tweets. The third country with the biggest share of Twitter users is Indonesia with 6.5%, thus almost mirroring the Semiocast’s figures of language distribution.

Nevertheless, the study of the most active Twitter cities conducted by Semiocast in July 2012 revealed some surprising results – the city with the most active users was Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, followed by Tokyo, London and Sao Paolo, with New York taking 5th place. The study was conducted on a sample of 27% of public tweets, geo-localized at a city level.

What is certain is that Twitter continues to grow daily. Its simple interface and posts famously limited to 140 characters remain a powerful communication tool and one of the most widely used social platforms.