The rapid growth in Portuguese and Arabic is just the latest sign of the change taking place on Facebook.
By Chris Morrison. This article first appeared on Inside Facebook.
While the growth of languages like English remains highest by absolute numbers, the market has more or less peaked for the moment. Meanwhile, the major European languages are more or less tied to the growth of highly-penetrated countries, like France.
The case is different for emerging languages like Arabic and Portuguese. The latter, of course, is entirely driven by Brazil, whose 191 million native speakers far outweigh the 10 million found in Portugal itself.
Arabic is a rather different case. Despite its growth, Arabic is still by far the smallest of the top 10 languages. However, there are actually 280 million Arabic speakers in the world, but as with Spanish speakers, they’re widely scattered throughout a large geographical region.
It’s difficult at this point to pick out a strong growth trend for any specific Arabic-speaking country, of which we track over a dozen on Facebook, but the language itself is clearly establishing a foothold that will help bring more speakers from individual countries onto the social network.
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