My Crystal Ball Says 866,280 Twitter Users in Malaysia by 2013

social networkingThere are now more than 1 million users of Facebook in Malaysia. Friendster said there are 2.2 million active Malaysian users on its social network. Now, what about Twitter? In December 2008, TwitterFacts estimated a total of 3,429 Twitter users in Malaysia. I believe the number has increased since then.

Let’s look elsewhere for hints, clues and indications. WeFollow, a user-generated Twitter Directory by Kevin Rose, where users self-tagged to a set of 3 keywords to describe themselves. There are only 274 users who tagged themselves to ‘malaysia’ but I’m quite sure the figure doesn’t reflect the current total Malaysians on Twitter.

TwitterCounter and Twitter Grader directories also offer listing of Twitter users by country. Unfortunately, Grader only list Top 50 users whereas TwitterCounter limits its listing to 10,020 profiles, per location. TwitterCounter says it is tracking 3.9 million unique Twitter users and yes, a search of ‘malaysia’ returns 10,020 Twitter usernames.

There are two ‘live’ directories, which are indexing Twitter users – TwitDir and Twellow. At the time of this posting, TwitDir has a total of 4,013,391 accounts and 2,231 of them with ‘Malaysia’ within their location detail. Twellow called itself Twitter Yellow Pages and it categorizes Twitter users into various categories, based on bio details. Currently, there are a total of 6.6 million Twitter profiles in its database. At the time of this posting, a search of ‘malaysia’ yields a total of 7,766 accounts.

Take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes

Based on TwitDir directory, the percentage of Twitter users from Malaysia is 0.055589%. On Twellow, the percentage is roughly 0.117667%. The average of these two percentages is 0.086628%, which, for the sake of this attempt to estimate the number of Twitter users in Malaysia, constitutes the percentage of Malaysian users in Twitterville. For some unfathomable reason, that percentage of remains constant from now until 2013 (beyond that, it’s anyone’s bet).

For total Twitter users worldwide from 2009 to 2013, let’s use Twitter’s private-now-public estimates. Twitter defines a user as “unique individual having a conscious twitter experience in a given week.” The following table shows the estimated number of Malaysia Twitter users for the next four years, assuming the percentage of Malaysian within Twitterville remains constant at 0.086628%.

Year Total Worldwide Twitter Users,
Projected by Twitter, Inc.
Estimated Total Twitter Users
in Malaysia
2009 25 million 21,657
2010 100 million 86,628
2011 350 million 303,198
2012 750 million 649,710
2013 1 billion 866,280

By end of this year, there are more than 20,000 Twitter users in Malaysia. By 2011, the number of users will swell to more than 300,000 and the half-a-million mark will be crossed in 2012. By end of 2013, there will be an estimated total of 866,280 Twitter users in Malaysia.

So, even when Twitter achieved its dream of becoming the first web service with a billion users in 2013, crystal ball says total Malaysia Twitter users will not cross the 1 million user mark (a feat Facebook already achieved in March 2009).

And there you have it. Prognostication or hallucination? Find me on Twitter @zhiQ and do let me know if I should ditch my crystal ball.

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  1. Your site has interesting reading! Good work. 🙂

    My crystal ball says there will be some new thing people will have crystal balls about by 2013.


  2. Have you considered the fact that Twitter SMS is not supported by any mobile telco in Malaysia?

    I think for you projection to come true, 2 things needs to happen:
    – Twitter got SMS support in Malaysia, or
    – Adoption rate of mobile 3G subscribers goes up.

  3. Hi WK,

    In the meantime, mobile users can access Twitter via (a) mobile web, with 3rd party clients like Tiny Twitter, UberTwitter, Tweetie, etc. or (b) maybe S2Twit, the Malaysian Twitter Gateway, pay only local SMS rate to send tweet.

    For more info on tweets via SMS, read this blog post by Twitter.

    YH Lim

  4. My Swarovski Crystal ball says it can go either way – drop like a stone or take off like a rocket. It will go up if Mawi pulls an Ashton Kutcher stunt with a Mawi vs. that host on AF in “Ikut Mawi mencapai 1 juta ‘followers'” – multi-lingual twitter is incoming right? It can also drop off when the vets get overwhelmed by the sudden increase in noise level and go “WTF, I’m outta here”.

    Realistically, lifespan of online services can survive no more than 3-4 years. Already, email is being replaced by twitter to some degree. MySpace and Friendster, desperate to hold on to their existing users. IM soon to be replaced by Google Wave.

    And here are the other possibilities:
    1. Twitter is sold to that company that buys up successful startups and starve them of innovation.
    2. You have to start paying to use twitter.
    3. Earth quake in California leaves Twitter HQ in a pile of rubble.
    4. Freak of nature wakes up sleeping volcano near the Arctic, melting snow will raise sea levels pushing the ocean inland, submerging the entire West Coast.
    5. Machines have developed Artificial Consciousness and are out to end the threat of human intervention – paging John Connor.

  5. Lifespan of online services no more than 3 – 4 years: Is Google Search, an online service? Yahoo! Messenger? eBay? Paypal? Yeah, I know, in comparison, the few that survive, there are many, many other that failed.

    Also, I’m not sure email is being replaced by Twitter and also IM will be replaced by Google Wave.

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