If you want to keep up on Japanese slang, opinions and what’s popular, you’re going to need to step into the “Twitterverse” or “Twittersphere.” In Japan, though, we don’t use either of those names.

日本人はツイッターをウェブ上の活動空間ととらえ、「ツイッタランド」と呼ぶことがあります (Nihonjin wa tsuittā o webu-jō no katsudō kūkan to torae, “tsuittarando” to yobu koto ga arimasu, Japanese people regard Twitter as an activity space on the web and sometimes call it “Twitterland”).

Since its inception, the social networking service has been particularly suited to communicating in Japanese since, thanks to the linguistic element of 漢字 (kanji, Chinese characters), you are able to say much more in Twitter’s 140-character limit than you can using English. Even the acronym LOL is shorter in Japanese, where you can get the same point across with a simple “笑” or “w,” which both stand for 笑う (warau, to laugh).