Twitter is taking a keen interest in the 1.1 billion potential tweeters living in India. The company has recently expanded its local trending topic city list to include five additional Indian cities, shortly after making Twitter.com available in Hindi.
Localization is a big deal to Twitter. Ensuring that speakers of all languages can navigate and understand Twitter’s interface is important if the company is to continue to find international success.
The Translation Center, which translates Twitter.com and official smartphone apps using the power of volunteers, offers an impressive 28 different languages – most recently right-to-left languages like Arabic and Farsi.
India’s official language, Hindi, was added to Twitter’s Translation Center in September.
Plugged.in first spotted the five new Indian countries in Twitter’s trending topic location selection module. The new cities include Ahmedabad, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Delhi, joining Mumbai to make a total of six cities that Indians can choose between.
Plugged.in notes that this localization is likely an attempt to entice Indians to use its service, which isn’t overly popular. They examine comScore data about Twitter use in India, which has hovered around three to four million, or 0.3 percent of the population, since February 2011 without much change.
A big part of the reason why Twitter has yet to really take off in India may be because it is still seen as the social network for larger-than-life figures like celebrities, rather than the everyday person. Twitter had this same problem in North America in its early days, when pro bloggers and celebrities like Ashton Kutcher and Oprah seemed to be the only tweeters. However, by rebranding itself as an information network rather than a microblogging platform, Twitter has become a source of breaking news and relevant information for a larger segment of society – a success it no doubt hopes to emulate in India.
(Indian flag image via Shutterstock)