A visualization of geocoded tweets is a good illustration of how wide is the Twitter world
What does Twitter look like? Well, for me, when I log in I see a lot of journalists, scientists, academics, and friends talking mostly in English about today's news, art, books, feminism, and so on. I know that this stream is the product of my curation and that it's only a tiny fraction of Twitter activity at any given moment, but understanding what Twitter looks like in the parts I don't see requires an act of imagination.
A new "map" of Twitter from researchers Mark Graham of the Oxford Internet Institute and Monica Stephens of Humboldt State gives us a pretty good visual of what's out there. Their graphic shows by size the number of geocoded tweets coming from different countries during a week-long period in March of this year. Their sample covers 20 percent of all geocoded tweets during that time -- amounting to a sample of 4.5 million. (The authors warn that there may be biases in the data, if some countries have a greater propensity to geocode than others. Only one percent of tweets are geocoded overall.) In addition, they've shaded each country's rectangle to represent its level of "Twitter penetration" -- darker boxes are for countries where a larger percentage of Internet users are on Twitter; lighter boxes show countries with few tweeters relative to the size of the Internet-using population.