Twitter yesterday launched a mobile version of its popular micromessaging service in Japan, making it the first country to get its own local language version. To boost its presence abroad, the fledgling San Francisco-based company has been tapping into the mobile industry, unveiling a partnership this week with Bharti Airtel, India’s largest mobile operator, in addition to one with UK-based O2.
It looks like Japan will be the guinea pig for Twitter’s foray into advertising as well. Twitter is using the Japanese mobile version as a testing ground for money-making features that it may incorporate into its service down the road, such as banner ads. Although the company modified its terms of service last month to open the door for advertising, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said a few weeks ago that it wouldn’t put any ads on the site this year. Lucky Japan, not only is it the first to get a local language version of the site, but it’s also the first to see Twitter with ads.