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NYTimes – The Languages of Twitter Users


March 12, 2014

By Ashwin Seshagiri


Twitter styles itself as the “global town square” for public conversations — a place for fans to gossip about an actress falling at the Academy Awards and for critics of Tunisia’s government to publicly decry the death of an opposition leader.

To measure Twitter’s global impact, Gnip, a social data firm, studied the firehose of posts over the years. The above chart tracks tweets from users who selected a primary language in their profiles since the service went live in 2006. Last year, among people who told Twitter they had a preferred language, almost 49 percent of tweets were from users who chose Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese and other languages other than English.

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