Last month, more than 2 million tweets were posted every day on Twitter in Arabic, up from about 30,000 per day in July 2010, says a new study.
Semiocast analyzed 5.6 billion public tweets and discovered that while English was far and away the most popular language used on Twitter, making up some 39 percent of all tweets, or 70 million per day, Arabic was the fastest-growing language overall, rising over two thousand percent in the past year, and is now the eighth most-used language on the network.
English leads Japanese (14 percent), Portuguese (12 percent) and Spanish (8 percent) as Twitter’s most-popular languages.
Interestingly, while the overall volume of English tweets has grown alongside Twitter as a whole, the share of tweets written in English appears to have stabilized around 40 percent in the last 12 months, down from 50 percent in February 2010 and 66 percent in 2009.
The share of tweets written in Japanese has also fallen, dropping from 19 percent in 2010 to 14.2 percent today. This of course makes sense: as Twitter becomes more of a global brand, expanding rapidly around the world, the dominant countries will start to give up share of their languages to these new territories, many of whom have massive populations.
Semiocast also tracked the language evolution of Twitter over the past couple of years.
Less than 0.5 percent of all tweets are in Chinese. Twitter is banned in mainland China and unless or until this changes then the population of China, massive as it is, is unlikely to make much of a dent in Twitter’s language rankings.