The number of tweets in Arabic has grown some 2,000 percent in the past year, making it the fastest growing language on Twitter, France-based company Semiocast reports.
The top 5 languages in use on Twitter are English, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish and Malay, with Arabic taking the 8th spot on the list.
Of the 5.6 billion public tweets in Semiocast’s analysis, gathered from July 2010 to October 2011, Arabic only accounts for about 1 percent of the 140-character messages, but has displayed tremendous growth.
The sudden boost in Arabic tweets is also not a surprising change. Arabic content as a whole has continued to grow across the Web, as e-commerce, microblogging and social networks continue to gain ground in the Middle East.
In fact, the past 10 years has seen a 2,500% increase in the use of Arabic online.
Despite Twitter seeing intermittent bans at one time or another in the region, in Algeria, Egypt, Syria, Libya and more, it continues to be a popular social media tool used by the Middle East’s netizens, whether by citizen journalists or otherwise…
Interestingly, Qatar has the highest reported Twitter penetration in the Middle East, though it doesn’t even account for 10 percent of the region’s population.