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Twitter introduces new services for Koreans

Twitter Inc. introduced two new services for Koreans on Wednesday, seeking to gain greater influence in a nation with an advanced communications infrastructure and one of the most active Internet populations.

In a press conference in Seoul, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams said Twitter has opened its website in the Korean language Wednesday.

Twitter has also formed partnerships with local companies ― local portal Daum Communications and mobile carrier LG Uplus ― to differentiate the services it can offer for Korean users.

Under the partnership, people can log into Twitter simultaneously when logging in Daum’s website and the “tweeted” information will be displayed on the front page of the local search engine’s site in real-time.
Evan Williams
Evan Williams

LG Uplus customers are also now able to post their message by sending text messages to #1234. This indicates that the two partners have found a way for feature phone owners to use their mobiles to access its micro-blogging service.

Williams made his first visit to Seoul as the number of Twitter users here in December recorded an 8.8-fold surge from last year.

According to data mining firm Daumsoft Inc., the number of Twitter users in Korea reached 2.28 million in December, sharply up from 250,000 users last January.

“The Korean-language tweets have grown even faster than tweets in general. We’ve seen over 3,400 percent growth ... of Korean language tweets from January 2010 through December,” said Williams.

Williams also stressed that Twitter is not merely a social networking service but that it is a “real-time global information network” which ties together people from all over the world.

Global Twitter users post more than 110 million “tweets” on a daily basis, he added.

“Twitter is not only a social network because you can get updates and news not just from people you know, but from people you’re interested in,” he said. “Twitter gives an opportunity to connect with people you admire, like celebrities.”

In Twitter, you can choose to “follow” other users to read the short messages they post on their accounts, which means the relationships in Twitter are asymmetrical.

“It’s been really great to see growth of Twitter in Korea over the last few months,” he said, adding that this is only the beginning of making Twitter even easier to use for Korean users in the future.

By Cho Ji-hyun (sharon@heraldcorp.com)
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