Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Diversity in Social Networking Sites

Coming from the UK, and being immersed in mainly British & American online culture, it's easy to see social networking as a being represented in the main by MySpace, Facebook & Bebo.

However, in looking at top social networks for 15-24s by country for a client yesterday, it was surprising to see how much variety there is by market. Yes, I knew that Skyrock was top in France, and Orkut in Brazil, but it's the level of differences in the top 5 in each case.

(In this my definition for a social network is that it is primarily for connecting people, rather than for blogging or content. So Facebook is, but Windows Live Spaces, Flickr and YouTube aren't. I've also left off dating sites. clearly there are some grey areas in this - comments please!)

For example:

UK - Bebo, Facebook, MySpace, Piczo & Faceparty
France - Skyrock, Facebook, MySpace, Hi5, Netlog
Germany - Studivz, MySpace, Netlog, Facebook, Hi5
Italy - Badoo, Netlog, Dada, MySpace, Hi5
Spain - Fotolog, Metroflog, MySpace, Sonico, Hi5
Russia - Vkontakte, Vspomni, MySpace, Privet, Buzznet
US - MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, Classmates, Imeem

MySpace is unique in appearing in all of the top 5 lists, but there is incredible diversity, and as with lots of media, people like their indigenous services.

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