Twitter clones

Recent research by PR agency Spot On suggests that Twitter is booming in the Middle East region with over 12 000 people from this region having registered a Twitter account. Interestingly however, Twitter is perhaps not the biggest micro-blogging site in the Middle East.

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By  Gareth Van Zyl Published  July 27, 2009

Recent research by PR agency Spot On suggests that Twitter is booming in the Middle East region with over 12 000 people from this region having registered a Twitter account. Interestingly however, Twitter is perhaps not the biggest micro-blogging site in the Middle East.

While I think one should question PR agencies (such as Spot On) as being reputable research houses, what one cannot deny is that Twitter is becoming increasingly popular all over the world. One cannot switch on the radio or television these days without, at one point or another, hearing what somebody said on their Twitter feed.

Having said this, Twitter is perhaps not the biggest micro-blogging website in the Middle East. According to the popular technology blog ArabCrunch, a Jordanian Twitter clone website called Watwet claims to have about 25 000 users, about double the number of Twitter users in the Arab world.

Watwet is basically a Twitter clone that allows one to post micro-blogs and follow others Watwet users’ feeds. In terms of features, it is still lagging behind the likes of Twitter, but in principle, Watwet performs the same functions as Twitter.

The owners of Watwet say that most of its users are Jordanian. It’s debatable then about whether it is then possibly the biggest player when it comes to micro-blogging in the Middle East, but it seems Watwet is becoming an important player in the micro-blogging space here as the likes of news organisation Al Jazeera have a Watwet feed.

What is also interesting to note is how Twitter clones are springing up all over the world and are seemingly competing with Twitter in terms of numbers of users.
In China, for instance, there is a wide range of Twitter clone sites available. One such site is TaoTao, which looks and feels like Twitter; and is said to have over 20 million users.

The point is that the Twitter concept of micro-blogging is growing into an international phenomenon that certain regions’ web-developers are adapting to their own regions and, even needs. Whilst many for now will want to join Twitter, the situation might be different in a few years time when people feel the need to localise their online identities.

It’s interesting to see how Twitter clone sites have become a metaphor representing the phenomenon of how people across the globe feel the need to preserve their local identies in what has become an increasingly westernised world. One hundred and forty characters seemingly encapsulates quite a lot…

2982 days ago
Carrington Malin

Interesting to see that you think one should question PR agencies as being reputable research houses. Are you trying to say that all companies that conduct their own research are to be compared with research houses or do you mean to imply that no PR agency is reputable enough to produce useful research?

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