Semiocast, a French based consulting group, conducted a study over a two-day period (Feb. 8 thru Feb 10) examining close to 3 million tweets this February and found some interesting results. Semiocast’s study found that out of those 3 million tweets, roughly 1.5 million of them were not in English.
The english language only popped up for roughly 50% of the tweets gleaned during that time period, with Japanese (14%), Portuguese (9%), Malay (6%) and Spanish(4%) following. One thing to keep in mind is that Twitter has claimed that it sees an excess of 50 million tweets published per day, meaning this study over two days may not be the most representative of the entire Twitter population.
The implication of a large growth of international users is exciting nonetheless. With the knowledge that Twitter is not only growing in popularity, but in international usage, it’s hard not to think of its teaching and learning impact. As the allure of international travel starts to wane due to the expense of a semester abroad, is Twitter the tool to use to expose our students to an international experience? Is this a better alternative, or just a gateway into the international community?