In the previous discussion on” Twitter fails in Vietnam“, Lawrence argued that a Vietnamese clone of Twitter would eclipse our global visibility in #Twitterville. While this argument is sound, I believe localization matters for a few reasons.
Most of us on #Twitterville are now using English as the de facto language. While this greatly helps us communicate with the world, it is certainly not the language of choice for the rest of the Twittered Vietnam.
After following Twitterati for a while, I’ve come to realize that such differences exist just as they do in real life. People in the States talk to each other, and sometimes I don’t get to fully understand what they’re saying. This requires me to spend some time getting used to the flow of conversation and gradually convert them into my “tribe”, one at a time.
Chinese Twitter clones have proved that localization sometimes work even better than the original.
Do note that these are some of the reasons I’ve proposed for those thinking a Twitter clone is necessary. It’s self-contradictory but I must agree with Lawrence that there’s no point in having Twitter clones in Vietnam, not only because of what he said, but also because Twitter is a service that hasn’t found its way to profit, and it’s even harder to achieve that in Vietnam, a very small market. More importantly, Twitter API-ed clients and services play a crucial part in fueling the growth.