Twitter CEO celebrates dramatic growth in Japan

(AP) -- Twitter Chief Executive Evan Williams celebrated the dramatic growth of the microblogging service he co-founded at a dinner event Friday with 500 Japanese fans and promised to learn from them.

"We've come a long way in two years especially in ," he told a cheering crowd at a Tokyo hall.

has been a huge hit in Japan. As Williams noted in his presentation, Japanese tweeters set a world record when the whistle blew in the World Cup game in which Japan beat Denmark at 3,283 per second, mostly believed to have been Japanese.

Williams - appearing in a T-shirt with the Twitter trademark bird set in a red circle, the symbol of the Japanese flag - said when Twitter held a similar event in 2008, only 40 people came.

He mingled with tweeters to find out how they were using the technology, in what he said was an effort to make the service better for his important market.

He thanked the crowd in Japanese and offered a celebratory toast with beer, as the crowd cheered.

Noriaki Takayama, who translates imported software and has 2,500 on Twitter, said he has made dozens of friends through Twitter.

"It's a great way to expand your network, and one connection leads to another," he said.

Not only have Japanese like Takayama embraced Twitter, but they are also tweeting with a vehemence unparalleled in other parts of the world, including the United States. San Francisco-based Twitter Inc. estimates Japanese send nearly 8 million tweets a day, about 12 percent of the global total.

Joseph Tame, a 32-year-old Briton, said he no longer feels lonely living in Japan, thanks to Twitter. He says Twitter was instrumental in attracting 13,000 viewers to his live video broadcasting of his run in the Tokyo Marathon.

"I'm a Twitter addict," he said.

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