Valleywag came up with an interesting map, showing which Social Networks have the highest penetration in each countries:
Interesting to see how Social Networks are distributed throughout the world. Lately, I have come under the impression that everyone is looking at facebook and that other players are loosing game.
But the bloggers, including Techcrunch, Mashable and my humbleness, might not see the entire picture.
In many regions of our world, facebook is very insignificant. In fact, if you look at the world map above, facebook dominates only very few countries. (Note: The map only shows the leading social network in a country.)
Now there acts the principle of the self-fulfilling prophecy: When bloggers talk about facebook and about how it’s platform is revolutionizing the internet, they are aggressively accelerating facebook growth themselves, by evangelizing it (absolutely for free, by the way).
Facebook indeed is a winner here, because they were the first to implement a platform for developers. They are thus gaining importance by the huge amount of attention they receive from the blogosphere. Linkedin’s or MySpace have just barely announced they’re planning the implementation of platforms, and have received only minuscule coverage.
The map also reveals that facebook might not have the impact everyone thinks it has. As pointed out by Andi, Facebook’s market share in Asia is close to zero, as well as in Latin America. Basically, everything except the anglosaxon part of the world.
Now obviously the arising question is: Will one player step up to plate and gain everything? Or maybe there is only one professional network and one student / fun network?
Interesting is also this article, showing how facebook and myspace mirror a class division in the USA.
No matter how strong facebook grows, they’re still very far away from myspace and will not overcome them anytime soon. Xing and Linkedin both hold very strong positions in their home markets and there is no signs of a consolidation in either one of them.
Maybe with the development of meta tools, which quickly allow to import/export profile and contact data, more appealing social networks might grow even quicker than now and actual take market share away from weaker players until they can’t carry on with their non-profitability.