Twitter Opens Korean-Language Website

Microblogging site Twitter on Wednesday opened a Korean-language website in an attempt to expand further into a market that has grown almost tenfold in the past year.

Korean is now one of seven languages offered on

"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," Yonhap news agency quoted Twitter co-founder Evan Williams as saying during a visit to Seoul.

South Korea is one of the world's most wired nations, with a high-speed broadband service and a booming business in smartphones.

There were more than 2.2 million registered South Korean Twitter users as of last month compared with 250,000 in January 2010, according to a recent report by Daumsoft.

Twitter, which was created in 2006 and allows people to post short messages of no more than 140 characters, had 175 million registered users worldwide as of November 1 and transmitted 25 billion "Tweets" last year.

The popularity of the site has been boosted as Celebrities and high-profile CEOs such as Doosan Infracore Chairman Park Yong-Man and Chung Yong-Jin, vice chairman of retail giant Shinsegae, have joined it to communicate with fans and customers.

It gained further prominence in Seoul after North Korea, one of the world's most reclusive nations, opened an account last year as part of its escalating online propaganda efforts.