Data chart of the week: social networks around the world
by Josh Bernoff
There's a lot of speculation about social networks, and predictions usually go in one of two directions:
- This is growing and soon everybody will be on one (or more than one)
- This is a fad and even the college students will tire of it eventually.
(You could also call these the "Facebook is worth $20 Billion" and "Facebook is worth nothing" factions.)
Important caveats on this data -- while these surveys were all taken with 6 months of each other 2007, the methodologies are not the same: US is an online survey, Europe is a mail survey, and Asia is a telephone survey. In each case, the base is all online consumers, and people were asked the question "do you visit a social networking site at least monthly?" or "how frequently do you visit a social networking site?" with examples from their own country. We count only those who visit at least monthly.
That said, this variation is fascinating, to me at least.
Does Korea have the highest participation because of CyWorld, or because Koreans love to connect?
Why are Germany, and especially France, so low? Is it something about the way French people behave online, or is there an opening for a great French social network (or the French version of an existing one, like Facebook)?
Charlene says that in the future, social networks will be like air, surrounding everything. If she's right, the very nature of this question will change.
I challenge you -- will the US become like Korea, and will France become like either one? What do you think?