Today’s social networked world

Socialnetworks

This is the world of social networks according to gossip blog ValleyWag citing data from Alexa.

Although the map’s colours make it a bit difficult to see clearly which network is prevalent in which part of the world, you can see where the two networks most talked-about in the English-speaking world (MySpace and Facebook) are dominant – USA and Australia (MySpace); Canada, UK, Middle East, South Africa (Facebook).

One stat I found a bit surprising was regarding Cyworld, the social network out of South Korea. It looks like its presence has not made much impact out of Southeast Asia in spite of a US launch last year and planned moves into continental Europe.

Valleywag’s overall summary from the data they’ve seen:

  • Orkut leads in the Indian subcontinent, as well as Brazil;
  • Facebook is stronger, internationally, than MySpace, with surprising strongholds in the Middle East;
  • hi5.com is the most international of all the social networks, leading in Peru, Colombia, Central America, and other, scattered countries such as Mongolia, Romania, and Tunisia;
  • both Bebo and Skyblog follow colonial patterns, the first strong in smaller English-speaking countries such as Ireland and New Zealand, and the latter in Francophone countries;
  • and Friendster, the original social network, leads all across Southeast Asia.
  • Fotolog, a photo service defeated in the US by Friendster, has re-emerged as the dominant social network in Argentina and Chile.

All useful information for marketers looking to leverage social networks. Valleywag’s Nick Denton explains how they used the Alexa data to arrive at the conclusions they’ve quoted.

The way things are developing so fast with social networking, though, I wouldn’t be surprised to see big changes to all of these stats within six months.

Still, a useful snapshot today.

[Addition @ 11:00] Also worth mentioning is a report yesterday on social networking in the UK that shows MySpace has 6.5 million UK users, compared with 4 million for Bebo and 3.2 million on Facebook.

But those stats don’t reflect what’s currently happening:

[…]Facebook, once largely confined to American colleges, has grown its audience by more than 500% in the last six months – making it more popular in Britain than in the US. Nielsen says 10% of UK internet users visited Facebook in May, compared to 9% of US online users. Alex Burmaster of Nielsen/NetRatings says: “If the April to May growth rates were to remain consistent, both Bebo and Facebook would catch MySpace in September this year.”

It’s all a shifting landscape, no question about it.