Steven Jackson, Business Reporter
Jamaica has a Twittter capital, and, no, it's not Kingston. Within Jamaica's slice of the 'twitterverse', the core demographic of the popular microblog reflects thin usage by local businesses.
The tourist city of Montego Bay beats Kingston, the largest city and seat of government and home base of the most powerful business, by several tweets, according to trend data analysed by Sunday Business on Google - the world's largest online search database.
For every 100 tweets in Montego Bay there are 89 in Kingston. The reason may relate to visitors tweeting within the island.
"If Twitter usage in Montego Bay outweighs Kingston I would credit it to ... tourism," said technology analyst Carlette DeLeon.
"The influx of visitors gives the illusion of heavier usage in Montego Bay but I am sure that if you were to know the [nationality] of the tweeters that Kingston would have the most tweets by Jamaicans."
Twitter usage globally continues to grow, recently surpassing 517 million user profiles with over 140 million residing in the United States, according to just released data from French firm Semiocast.
The Semiocast study used its proprietary platform, databases and tools to process user profiles in order to determine the location of each user using all available information. The study also revealed that usage in the city of Jakarta, Indonesia surpassed any other global city, followed by Tokyo, Japan; London, UK; São Paulo, Brazil; and New York, USA.
Most tourists visit from Twitter strong destinations, including the US, Canada and Europe. Locally however, Twitter remains less popular than rival Facebook and it influences the thin usage of businesses to set up accounts, said DeLeon.
"I think some businesses do not realise that you do not have to tweet all the time, but that you can use Twitter as a newsfeed," said DeLeon who has amassed over 4,100 Twitter followers.
"We are still stuck on Blackberry messenger but I think Twitter is an emerging platform in Jamaica whilst Facebook is entrenched," she said.
Deleon expects that, eventually, businesses will open more Twitter profiles. Local businesses, including media companies and telecoms, have amassed relatively large followers on Twitter, reflecting their customer base. However usage by medium-sized businesses appears less frequent.
Deleon adds that the potential benefits of Foursquare with over 25 million profiles offers local businesses another opportunity to target customers seeking deals at stores.
"Foursquare offers customer loyalty because stores can offer discounts and release deals for customers at a very low cost just by using the technology," she said of the site that allows users to pinpoint locations and events in their proximity.
Contextually, Jamaicans use Facebook more than any other website - beating Google, YouTube, Yahoo and Amazon, respectively, according to online tracking site Alexa.