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Facebook Rules the World and Here’s the Map to Prove It

A couple of times a year, Vincenzo Cosenza prepares a new World Map of Social Networks. Before perusing the maps, I would have said, what’s the big deal? There are only a few social networks in the world and they haven’t changed all that much in the last few years.

If I had said that, I would have been wrong. You see, I’m looking at things through red, white, and blue colored glasses. Here’s a look at where the world was in June 2009.

world map june 2009

There were seventeen social networks and thought Facebook (the dark blue) had a good foothold on the world, there’s still plenty more to look at.

Jumping ahead to the newest map, December 2012, we see quite a change.

world map 2012The main difference is the lack of options. Only five networks are hanging on and the Facebook blues have slowly crept over South America and a good portion of Europe and Asia.

Cosenza says that Facebook is the dominant force in 127 out of 137 countries. Much of the growth comes from Asia’s 278 million users. In recent months, Facebook pushed forward into Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia and Vietnam. Will the madness ever stop?vkontakte iphone

Considering the cultural differences and the legal issues that come with setting up shop in another country, I’m surprised that Facebook has managed to dig itself in so deeply around the world.

The closest contender is VKontakte, which is the most popular social networking site for people who speak Russian. They have an average of 42 million daily users with 2,500,000,000 daily pageviews – that’s a lot of zeros.

Here’s a look at their iPhone app. Hmm. . . looks sort of familiar, doesn’t it?

QZone, the popular social networking site in China also offers apps for the iPhone, iPad and Android. They have more than 597 million users who write blogs, post photos and connecting with friends.

It’s clear that the whole world has become attached to social networking. It’s the online version of catching up at the Sunday ice cream sociable. Going forward, I imagine this map will stay pretty much the same. I can’t see Russia or China giving up their homegrown social networks in favor of the American import, but stranger things have happened.

The idea of Facebook dominating the entire internet should scare me. No one entity should have that much power and reach. But truthfully, a world map that is all one color is like seeing everyone standing on a hill together, singing, sharing a Coke. . .all in perfect harmony.

You go, Facebook. You go.

  • http://www.networketiquette.net David Chiles

    I had the same thought about social networks as you until I read a story about Vincenzo’s research. I had been looking at social media through Red, White, and Blue glasses. America runs the social media world, but there are other influences.