Twitter’s user growth has been plateauing for years, as social media users gravitate toward newer platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. But among the countries included in our forecast for Twitter user growth, seven of the top 10 are in Asia-Pacific—a regional trend also evident with Facebook and to some extent, Instagram.
More than a quarter of Twitter users worldwide are in Asia-Pacific. We forecast that there were 105.0 million users in the region last year, well ahead of the number of users in North America and Latin America. Growth in the region was 7.4% in 2019, similarly ahead of more saturated markets like North America and Western Europe.
Twitter is the top social platform in Japan, used by 64.1% of social network users in the country last year. That figure will climb to 68.4% by 2023.
Twitter’s appeal in Japan can be attributed to a number of factors: Japanese language works well with character limitations on Twitter—more can be expressed with the use of Kanji than other languages. Anonymity is valued in Japan, and many users sign up with usernames that reflect a specific interest. Unlike other popular platforms, Twitter doesn't require users to use their real names.
Smartphone adoption is lower in Japan than other developed countries, at an estimated 68.4% of mobile phone users in 2019. Twitter still functions fairly well on feature phones because it focuses less on images and video than social networks like Instagram and Snapchat.
India’s massive population and emerging digital culture is ripe territory for social media growth. In 2019, the number of Twitter users will have risen 14.8% to 27.3 million, and double-digit growth is expected through 2020.
Twitter’s success in India is largely due to investment in localizing its service. In 2019, Twitter redesigned its website to help users localize content in seven Indian languages—Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Urdu, Tamil, Bengali and Kannada. Twitter India said in fall 2019 that non-English tweets now account for half the total in the country.
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