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Twitter in Hindi: Does It Make a Difference?
Twitter in Hindi: Does It Make a Difference?
By: Sahil Shah

Twitter is in news these days for all the good reasons. Yes the microblogging network reached its first 100 million users some days back and has now announced its extension of support to Asian language versions. Hindi is one of the inclusions with other languages like Malay, Filipino, and traditional and simplified Chinese.With this move Twitter will raise its total number of supported languages to 17.

Of the 100 million people who are an active Internet audience in India, there are some millions who log on to twitter every single day. Though the number is far less than Facebook’s 33 million, but to facilitate the growth, there has to be some way. This seems like one of options for Twitter Inc. to capture the social media pie in India. The agenda from the company is clear that they want to expand in India by introducing Hindi as one of the languages as it is the most common language in India, probably. This essentially will give them more reach in terms of new users adding on to the network.

To answer what I have stated in the title of this piece, it is a win-win situation for both parties. The social network and its users or lets say prospective users are going to benefit with the amount of content and news that is going to be aggregated in more languages. Besides, the number of people adding on to the network is not expected to be huge but a decent amount of difference could be noticed. The official blog states that about 40% users simply sign on to the network to see what the world is up to, everyday. It is clearly a sense of a consumption that is taking place in order to keep up with the recent news that is quick and reliable. With the introduction of Hindi as a language the number of people with more consumption habits will increase gradually and thereby influence reach of the network in India.

The strategy, almost similar to how Facebook is expanding across various geographies, seems like the obvious option but Twitter has some plans of its own with the moves that the network is making.Twitter is targeting 26 million additional users (globally) to join by January, 2012. Recently Twitter CEO Dick Costolo declared imminent plans to expand the company’s advertising efforts. Speaking at what he called a ‘state of the union’, Dick told that the company is entirely focused on advertising as its business model.

Thus it seems like introduction of Hindi and other Asian languages is just a move towards expanding this so called “niche” social network to a greater mass of audience. Do you think, by introducing a national language & taking an expansion agenda, Twitter will grow in India against a giant like Facebook? Or will continue to reign in the niche region that it already caters to. We would love to know!