The study, released by Paris-based Semiocast, tracked the number of tweets with location info in the month of June, 2012. New York is the top U.S. city for tweets, outranking Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, and Houston. San Francisco, the city that the social media company calls home, doesn't make an appearance in the top 20.
While Jakarta's high ranking might surprise some, it did not surprise my University of Toronto colleague, Barry Wellman, the leading social media sociologist and co-author of the book, Networked. "I'm not surprised, because I saw Indonesian language a lot on Twitter Trending Topics," writes Wellman in an email. "As far as U.S. cities, it looks mostly like a size effect."
There are a couple of big caveats about the study. Only 27 percent of the tweets analyzed by the study were found to have location-based information. The researchers culled this from profiles, time zones, languages, and, for a very small fraction, GPS locations — less than 1 percent of public tweets, according to the study, include this data.
We've talked about Twitter's impact before (read here and here). In a Twitter popularity-contest, Los Angeles has, by far, more top-followed users than any other city. And let's not forget that Los Angeles is also the international mecca for celebrity anyway.
One thing is clear: Twitter's forum, especially in cities, is huge. Now we just need to figure out what to call it.