Twitter CEO says K-pop Revived Twitter in Korea


On May 1, Shin Chang Seob sat down for an interview to talk about the use of Twitter in the country. “K-pop groups have had a huge impact on Twitter users, as much as the U.S. President Donald Trump or India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said. “Among the top 10 singers who’re mentioned the most on Twitter around the world, six are K-pop groups, including BTS who has over 14 million followers.”

He kept on pointing out the increasing number of overseas users taking an interest in K-pop. "When K-pop idol groups' accounts began expanding and interviews were broadcast on Twitter in 2015, domestic fans as well as fans from all over the world began to gather," he explained. "If you look at the ratio of users tweeting about K-pop, overseas users including those from the United States, Southeast Asia, and South America amount to 65 percent. That’s about twice the number of users who do so in Korea."

The young generation insane for K-pop has saved Twitter, which had not been recognized as mainstream social media in Korea. With new users in their teens and 20s rapidly increasing, the average number of users in Korea in a month is twice that of 2013. The rate of user growth last year is the third among the 35 countries using Twitter around the world, while its sales growth is second only to China.

This is an unusual phenomenon considering that social media rarely revives once it's neglected. Korea's Cyworld and the United States' Myspace are some examples of social media channels that have not regained popularity after a drop in interest.

According to Shin Chang Seob, another advantage of Twitter is that fans and celebrities can communicate in real-time through short sentences. The users can also select and see various content quickly.

The CEO went on to share his optimistic vision of Twitter in the future. "If the main users in their teens to early 30s expand to those in their middle and late 30s, Twitter will be able to compete equally with Facebook or Instagram," he said.

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