I am not much a facebook fan because I am a die-hard multiply user. On the other hand, I got hook to twitter a bit late. My twitter history showed that I signed up only last May, 2008 (last year) but I only started to use it heavily around February, 2009 (early this year). It took me almost a year to understand how to use twitter.
If you look at the Google Trends, I can be considered to belong to the early twitter ‘curios-ers.’ Google Trends can show you how frequently a topic is being searched. So if we look at the result of the Google Trends, it looks like Filipino people started to search about twitter around the month of July, 2008 — maybe a few Pinoy tech geek or tech-wannabe users.
Then, it looks like it took almost one more year before search for twitter in google spiked up. The Google Trend graph from 2008-2009, showed that it is almost in the middle of 2009 that twitter search soared up. What might happen around that time that twitter search soared up?
It is specifically in the month of April, 2009 that google search numbers for twitter gets a jolt here in Philippines. So what happen in the Philippine history which made Pinoys suddenly get interested in twitter? Well, nothing really happens in the local scene. Blame it on Ashton Kutcher. It was in April, 2009 when Ashton Kutcher won over CNN in the race to who gets first to reach a 1 million of followers.
It was then around this time, 2nd quarter of 2009, that local celebrities started to get on Twitter. Well, this is based on my very trusty statistical magic. I checked randomly some local celebrities, and most of them sign up for twitter around April, 2009.
For example Bianca Gonzales, @iamsuperbianca, signed up to twitter on April 18, 2009, which is like the day or the day after when Ashton Kutcher was announced to win the 1 million followers. Saab Magalona, @saabmagalona, also started in April, 2009. Maxene Magalona, @maxenemagalona, came in a little later than her sister, Saab, at May, 2009. Nikki Gil, @nikkigil, signed up on May, 2009. Ruffa Guttierez, @iloveruffag, signed up to twitter in July, 2009 already. Anne Curtis, @annecurtissmith, got in twitter on March, 2009.
This might be the reason why search for twitter increase dramatically in the second quarter of 2009.
Still based on the Google Trend graph for twitter search here in Philippines, it has a steady traffic between April to August, 2009. There was a little bump up on August, 2009. This can be credited to Cory Aquino’s death which made to the trending topic list at that time. Then, Mar Roxas declared to step down, and gave way to Noynoy Aquino to be the presidential candidate. Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas again that time got to the trending topic list.
But then, the biggest jolt on google search for twitter happened at the end of September. This time, it is no longer about the celebrities or politicians (politicians are also celebrities, right?). I think everybody knew what caused it then to soar up on September. It was because of Ondoy. Sadly, it took a calamity for twitter to be noticed much by the Filipinos.
Then Ondoy striked on September 26, 2009. On September 27, 2009, the day after the calamity, the Google searches for twitter here in Philippines dramatically soared up. It was probably because of the success of the role of ‘social media’ (facebook/twitter) in getting help during the calamity. I guess we can say Ondoy was a bigger celebrity and a better twitter endorser than Ashton Kutcher.
After the Ondoy jolt, google volume for twitter search is now experiencing a steady decline. I just hope, the next time it gets a jolt in search increase, it will no longer be about calamities or any bad local news.
This, hopefully, gives you a glimpse up how twitter penetrates the Filipino users. So is twitter just a fad? Let’s see. =) Hopefully, @tweetitow will make Filipinos more interested in twitter.