The Language of Social Media
In today’s plugged-in, on-demand world, social media has been credited as one of the key drivers of global connectivity. The rise of social media and its impact on political, economic and social spheres has been hard to ignore in any part of the world. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter have gained worldwide popularity paving the way for rapid multilingualization of their sites.
With our focus on languages, we have created an infographic about four globally popular social networking sites showing the languages they support and the top five countries of their user base. Facebook as the world leading social networking site has a clear lead in language support. Google+, a recent entrant to the social networking market, has been able to utilise Google Translate, its own machine translation engine, to develop a substantial list of localized sites. This has helped spread usage around the world quickly. Twitter, with its Translation Centre, relies upon a crowd-sourcing approach for the provision of its localized sites and has recently overcome a technical challenge around the use of hashtags in right-to-left scripts such as Arabic. LinkedIn is also expected to increase the number of localized sites it creates owing to its recent growth in use and popularity.
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The image shows the top four social networks listed by size of their user base. The world maps for each social networks shows the languages they support by country of their use. We have also added the top five countries by number of users for each site to show the diversity of their demographics.