Twitter’s support for Indonesian and Dutch languages points to more growth

More Indonesians could come onboard Twitter now that it has added support for Dutch and Indonesian languages on August 1. Translations for both languages were carried out by the Translation Center, an open service that allows fellow Twitterers — which number about 200,000 volunteer translators — to translate the site by using tools developed by Twitter.

The localization process for Dutch and Indonesian languages took only a month and 40 translators to develop (there are now 74 members in the official group of Indonesian translators), and Twitter said in a blogpost that the next languages Twitter plans to translate are Filipino and Malay — bringing the total number of supported languages to 13.

According to a report in May by Indonesia-based social media news site SalingSilang, Indonesia has around 6 million Twitter users with 1.5 million tweets sent each day, with Jakarta, Bandung, Medan, Jogjakarta and Surabaya having the most active users on Twitter. The report also stated that Ubersocial is the most popular Twitter app with 43.4% users followed by Twitter for BlackBerry with 11.36% and Snaptu with 6.14%. Mobile apps account for almost 87% of the way users access Twitter, with 12.1% from the web and the remaining 0.92% from API apps.

Twitter’s first move beyond English started in April 2008, when it released Twitter in Japanese by working together with Japan-based Digital Garage. Since then, it has enjoyed roaring growth in the country; according to comScore data mine, Twitter grew 438% from Sept 2009 to Sept 2010 to reach 13.2 million visitors, and is now the second largest social networking destination just behind Mixi.jp (13.5 million visitors), and Facebook (5.3 million visitors).

Could the same effect be said where Indonesia is concerned? Twitter in Indonesia is already popular, having the fourth largest number of users worldwide after US, Brazil and UK. But with a population of 230 million and a well-known reputation for embracing social media tools, it looks like Twitter has plenty of room for growth.

Goutama Bachtiar

Goutama is a Technologist, Consultant, Trainer, Writer & Courseware Developer mostly in enterprise space. Having written for a number of other outlets on technology and business, he is fascinated with Tech Investment and Social Tech. The e27 Senior Contributing Writer based in Jakarta counts travel, culture, culinary, coffee and soccer among his myriad interests.

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