Monday, November 22, 2010

Social media trends around the world

The rise of social media around the world has been rapidly increasing due to the ubiquitous social network options that have sprung up in recent years. Being the starting point for most of the more prominent social networks, the United States leads the way in social media usage and number of individuals by a wide margin. However, social networks are on the rise in many international communities as networks spread to many foreign countries, and as these countries establish their own networks. According to a recent article, the U.S. surpasses the next largest internet-using country, Japan, by about 100 million social media users.

Certain networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace have the majority of their audience stateside as they are all American products. But the penetration of these networks in some foreign markets has been not as complete due to many of these countries fashioning their own social networks that have become popular exclusively among their own residents. In some cases, a social network that was started in order to have universal appeal would only find an audience in a particular region.

One prime example of this is the social network that was started by Google named Orkut. Originally based in The United States, the network failed to find a wide audience in this country. However, it spread internationally and soon became the top social network in Brazil. In addition to Brazil, Orkut has also become one of the top social networks in India, making it one of the most widely used social networks outside of the U.S.

In Japan, which is officially directly behind the U.S. in overall social media usage, a social network known as Mixi has become the most popular site by a large margin. However, if claims by China are to be interpreted as accurate, their country could in fact be the nation with the most social network use as their largest network, Qzone, has an estimated 380 million users.

A more expansive breakdown of which countries are using which networks can be found here.

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