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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Twitter fever sweeps Korea

Twitter, the micro-blogging service, continues to win the hearts and minds of Koreans, not only the tech-savvy younger generation but also the less trend-sensitive 50- and 60-somethings.

When the social-networking site was launched a few years ago, it instantly attracted enthusiastic responses from the country's sports stars and entertainers who were often accused of capitalizing on the features to drum up support and a greater fan base.

In addition, political parties consistently resorted to Twitter during elections. Rep. Na Kyung-won of the governing Grand National Party (GNP) is to hold a press meeting on Twitter while running in the party's leadership race slated for this month.

Now the horizon is expanding. Tycoons of the country's conglomerates, respected politicians in their 60s and older novelists are also briskly contributing to the Twitter frenzy.

More than half a million Koreans are believed to have Twitter accounts and they spend a lot of time on the mobile-blogging site, according to global market researchers.

Social media measurement company Semiocast revealed over the weekend that Korea ranked seventh in terms of the number of short messages, trailing such countries as the United States, Japan, Indonesia and Brazil.

The Paris-based entity conducted a 24-hour study on 2.9 million tweets in late June to find that the most traffic originated from Asia thanks to three countries ― Japan, Indonesia and Korea.

Clientopedia, another consultancy, found midway through last month that the Korean-language is the sixth most widely used at 2.05 percent.

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