World Map of Social Networks 2010
There have been some changes from the last visualization. Facebook continues to conquer rivaling social networking sites all over the world. One of the most notable victories is beating Orkut in India.
India with its large population will millions of users to Facebook. As of this writing there are 14,852,060 people using Facebook in India. This means 18% of the online population. I estimate that within a year India will have at least 27 million Facebook users. One interesting fact about India’s Facebook population is they are 70% male.
Some strongholds remain. China, Russia, Japan and Brazil are the countries that still resist.
Brazil has been the stronghold of Orkut for quite some time. But Facebook is growing as Orkut is moving side-wise. It is also important to note that Facebook is not a marginal site anymore. There are more than 7 million users and growth-rate of about 3 million in the last six months. Looking at the Google Trends graph I would estimate the number of Facebook users to grow to at least 15 million in 12 months.
Check out the related post: Top 10 Social Networking Sites by Market Share of Visits. “Social networks come and go. Facebook’s dominance seems uncontested now but it wasn’t very long ago when MySpace was the top social network. A few years worth of data combined on a single chart.”Russia has two locar rivaling social networking sites, Vkontakte.ru and Odnoklassniki.ru. Vkontakte (in contact) claims to have 93.9 million users on its home page. In my view this my be the number of user accounts but I find it hard to believe that these are real active users. There are only 164 million native Russian speakers including children. The Alexa traffic details put that number around 32 million users or 1.6% of global internet population. Read more about Social Media in Russia.
Odnoklassniki (classmates) claims 45 million users. Looking at Alexa tels us about 18 million users or 0.9% of global internet population. But Facebook is way back there with only 2 million users and 3.3% penetration in online population. Again, Facebook is picking up speed and doubling its user base in 12 months wouldn’t be a surprise.
The dominant social network in Japan is Mixi.jp. It claims to have more than 24 million user. Wikipedia says that the site requires users to own a Japanese cellphone which bars anyone who is not or has not been a resident of Japan. Alexa data puts the number of active users around 12 million. Facebook in Japan is small. Only 1,7% of online population or 1.65 million people use the global social networking site. Its hard to estimate the growth of the next 12 months. I would guess that global peer pressure will accelerate Facebook’s growth in Japan. Estimate? 3-4 Million.
In China the main social networking site is Qzone.QQ.com. Facebook beating Qzone in China means a political decision and it is not really driven by network effect and free market mechanisms. There isn’t much happening as far as Chinese government is blocking Facebook.
Network effect and telephones
I think that being on more than one social networking site is too time consuming for most people. This means that as we get more connected globally one site would emerge that dominates social networking world wide. Right now it seems that this site will be Facebook.
It is hard to say if there will be one global social networking company or a social networking infrastructure that will be managed by may competing companies. Economically there would be no point in breaking up the one dominant network. Politically, however, I can see a lot of people (organizations, nations) who wouldn’t want this much power and information concentrated in a single company.
In the end the monopolistic telephone companies were broken into smaller competing firms. So, what do you think will happen with 1 billion user Facebook?