NEW YORK - Twitter, an American online microblogging service, is joining in the celebrations of the holy month of Ramazan this year with special icons — instant iftar times, and an interactive map.
Ahmad AbouAmmo, Twitter’s Head of Media Partnerships for the Mena region, rolled out the new features with a blog post, saying, “Ramazan is an important event around the world - full of celebration, friends and families. We look forward to seeing how many of you come together to share these special moments on Twitter.”
Twitter users who tweet with the hashtags Ramazan and Eid will see a crescent moon and Arabic lettering pop up in their messages, the company announced. Users who tweet at the news organization Al Arabiya with the hashtag imsak or iftar and the name of their city will receive a quick reply that tells them when exactly to start and break their fast.
The world’s 1.5 billion Muslims are increasingly turning to social media to share their experience of the fast. In 2013, users sent more than 74.2 million tweets about Ramadan from around the globe, according to Twitter’s research.
A popular phrase, especially in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, was “May you be in good health.” “Prayer” is another highly-mentioned word during the month, with the most tweets getting sent from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt. In the United States, it said, users often tweeted about how hungry or thirsty they are during the long fast from sunrise to sunset.