Global domination. This is what appears to have been Facebook’s goal in 2012, according to the World Map of Social Networks, which is based on both Google Trends for Websites and Alexa.
It would be difficult to describe differently the success of a company which holds the lead in 127 out of 136 countries.
In fact, in the last twelve months, the Californian giant has overtaken even the last few strenuous competitors.
In an always more social-network-orientated planet, Zuckerberg’s creation has forced Orkut, the leading social platform in Brazil and a top player on the Indian market, to settle for second place in both of those countries.
A similar destiny has befallen Hyves in the Netherlands, a platform which reached over 10 million members in 2010, that is two thirds of the Dutch population. Even though it’s so popular that the police use it to monitor the content posted online by those on a list of suspects, Hyves has now been dethroned by Facebook.
Even the land of the rising sun has had to surrender: Mixi, the Japanese platform, which in 2008 boasted a stunning 80% share of the social networking market in Japan, has been topped by the ubiquitous blue “F”.
Now Facebook is the only, undisputed, global leader in the social media world.
Its main three markets are currently Europe with 223 million users, North America with 219 million and Asia with 202 million.
Shifting to second position on the podium, we find a three-sided competition between Twitter, LinkedIn and Badoo. It is LinkedIn that leads the way in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, while Twitter wins in key markets such as the US and the UK.
Worthy of note is the performance of Badoo in some European countries. This London-based cross between a dating site and a social network is one of the stickiest websites in Europe, that is, one of those where a single visitor spends more time. In countries like France, Italy and Spain, Badoo’s users have spent an average of 1 hour and 30 minutes per visit on the site, making it the second stickiest site after Facebook.
In terms of ranking, Badoo also boasts second position in Austria, Belgium, France and Italy, while it occupies third place in Spain.
Going down to third position, we discover a Twitter-ruled territory. The US-based social network holds this position in Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, India, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
On the other hand, in Brazil and Denmark it appears that internet users prefer to spend their free time looking for new partners instead of tweeting their latest thoughts: in fact, according to the World Map of Social Networks, we find Badoo in third position, with the first two places occupied by Facebook and Orkut in Brasil, and Facebook and LinkedIn in Denmark.
If, as somebody has recently written, Facebook is killing the world’s local social networks, there are countries where national platforms still call the shots.
The best example of this is in Russia, where Facebook has to settle for position number three, with VKontakte and Odnoklassniki being the top dogs. VKontakte, the winner according to Google Trends for Websites, presents itself as the “largest European social network with more than 100 million active users”. Vkontakte is a Russian version of Facebook, which differs from its competitors by providing the torrent technology which allows its members to do file sharing even with the largest of files.
Another country where the national flag still waves high is Germany. In fact, the second and third places see two Teutonic names.
The first one, Wer Kennt Wen (“who knows who”), is based in Cologne. According to GlobalWebIndex, this network has over nine million members.
Shortly behind, with about 8 million subscribers, we find StayFriends, another platform that helps its members keep in touch with classmates.
Quite predictably, if most of the national internet markets hail Facebook’s triumph, the world top ten will not come as a surprise. According to www.ebizmba.com in 2012, the three most popular social network websites in the world are:
- N.1 Facebook, with over 845 million users
- N.2 Twitter, way behind with 250 million
- N.3 LinkedIn with 110 million
In fourth place, the ex-number one My Space boasts over 70 million users. Next we find Google+, which is gradually building up a remarkable rank of followers, with over 65 million users.
With 1.2 billion users worldwide, social media have undoubtedly become part of people’s everyday lives.
According to a recent survey by comScore, world Internet users in October 2011 spent one in every five minutes of their Internet activity on social networking sites. One thing is sure, whether Facebook remains on top or not: social media networks have a long, bright future in front of them.