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Social network popularity around the world in 2011

social networks

Online social networks are everywhere these days, a truly global phenomenon. But where are the different social networks having the most success in terms of popularity? That is what we’ll try to answer in this post.

We have included 11 social networks in this survey: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Orkut, Tumblr, FourSquare, MySpace, LiveJournal, Hi5 and Bebo.

Please note that this isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list covering all social networks out there. There are literally hundreds of them.

To map popularity, we’ve used Google search statistics (their Insights for Search tool). This will give us a good indication of the interest – or popularity, if you will – of a social network in a given region. We’re basing this survey on search results from the past 90 days, so it’s a reasonably large, up-to-date sample. After all, we want to know the situation right now.

A few initial observations

We’ve gone through and summarized some of the information for you, but please feel free to scroll down and check out the individual social networks you’re interested in.

Top countries for each social network (in terms of interest)

  • Facebook is most popular in Turkey and Venezuela.
  • Twitter is most popular in Venezuela and Brazil.
  • LinkedIn is most popular in the Netherlands and India.
  • Google+ is most popular in Taiwan and Hong Kong.
  • Tumblr is most popular in the Philippines and Brazil.
  • FourSquare is most popular in Indonesia and Malaysia.
  • MySpace is most popular in Puerto Rico and Myanmar (Burma).
  • LiveJournal is most popular in Singapore and Russia.
  • Hi5 is most popular in Thailand and Romania.
  • Bebo is most popular in Ireland and New Zealand.
  • Orkut is most popular in Brazil and Paraguay. The interest shown for Orkut in Brazil far outstrips that of any other country.

It’s worth pointing out that this doesn’t necessarily mean that the majority of users come from these countries. We’re talking about sheer interest in a service. The size of the local user base will depend on the size of the Internet population in that country.

Also note that we haven’t compared the social networks against each other. This is a survey that examines where each social network has managed to garner the most interest in its service.

Some standout countries in this survey

  • Brazil is in the top five for Twitter, Orkut, Tumblr and Bebo.
  • Singapore is in the top five for LinkedIn, Tumblr, FourSquare and LiveJournal.
  • The United States is in the top five for LinkedIn, Tumblr and MySpace.
  • The Philippines is in the top five for Tumblr, FourSquare and LiveJournal.
  • India is in the top five for LinkedIn and Orkut.
  • The United Kingdom is in the top five for LinkedIn and Bebo.
  • Indonesia is in the top five for Twitter and FourSquare.
  • Venezuela and Turkey are in the top five for Facebook and Twitter.

That was just a brief summary. Why don’t you go ahead and have a look for yourself? We’ve listed the results for all the included social networks here below. We’ve also included direct links to Google Insights for Search if you want to dig even deeper into the results and play around a little.

Facebook

Interest in Facebook

Countries with the highest interest in Facebook:

  1. Turkey
  2. Venezuela
  3. Tunisia
  4. Colombia
  5. Dominican Republic

You can dig deeper into Google’s search stats for Facebook here.

Twitter

Interest in Twitter

Countries with the highest interest in Twitter:

  1. Venezuela
  2. Brazil
  3. Indonesia
  4. Turkey
  5. El Salvador

You can dig deeper into Google’s search stats for Twitter here.

LinkedIn

Interest in LinkedIn

Countries with the highest interest in LinkedIn:

  1. Netherlands
  2. India
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Singapore
  5. United States

You can dig deeper into Google’s search stats for LinkedIn here.

Google+

Interest in Google+

Countries with the highest interest in Google+:

  1. Taiwan
  2. Hong Kong
  3. Nepal
  4. Finland
  5. Honduras

(Ok, Hong Kong isn’t a country per se, but Google Insights for Search lists “regions”, which don’t always correspond to countries.)

You can dig deeper into Google’s search stats for Google+ here.

Orkut

Interest in Orkut

Countries with the highest interest in Orkut:

  1. Brazil
  2. Paraguay
  3. India
  4. Haiti
  5. Oman

You can dig deeper into Google’s search stats for Orkut here.

Tumblr

Interest in Tumblr

Countries with the highest interest in Tumblr:

  1. Philippines
  2. Brazil
  3. Australia
  4. United States
  5. Singapore

You can dig deeper into Google’s search stats for Tumblr here.

FourSquare

Interest in FourSquare

Countries with the highest interest in FourSquare:

  1. Indonesia
  2. Malaysia
  3. Singapore
  4. Thailand
  5. Philippines

You can dig deeper into Google’s search stats for FourSquare here.

MySpace

Interest in MySpace

Countries with the highest interest in MySpace:

  1. Puerto Rico
  2. Myanmar (Burma)
  3. United States
  4. Jamaica
  5. Trinidad and Tobago

You can dig deeper into Google’s search stats for MySpace here.

LiveJournal

Interest in LiveJournal

Countries with the highest interest in LiveJournal:

  1. Singapore
  2. Russia
  3. Belarus
  4. Ukraine
  5. Philippines

You can dig deeper into Google’s search stats for LiveJournal here.

Hi5

Interest in Hi5

Countries with the highest interest in Hi5:

  1. Thailand
  2. Romania
  3. Peru
  4. Laos
  5. Portugal

You can dig deeper into Google’s search stats for Hi5 here.

Bebo

Interest in Bebo

Countries with the highest interest in Bebo:

  1. Ireland
  2. New Zealand
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Brazil
  5. Australia

You can dig deeper into Google’s search stats for Bebo here.

Final notes

As you noticed, we only included a limited list of social networks in this survey. For example, we didn’t include social networks that are regional by nature, i.e. don’t have a global focus. There are plenty of country- or language-specific social networks that are successful in individual countries, for example VKontakte in Russia and the Russian-speaking countries of the former Soviet Union, Mixi in Japan, RenRen and Qzone in China, Hyves in the Netherlands, etc.

If you’re curious, you can check out a similar survey we did three years ago, in August of 2008. We thought an update was long overdue, since things change so rapidly in social media.



8 comments
Blog trao doi kien thuc ve Hosting
Blog trao doi kien thuc ve Hosting

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social media statistics
social media statistics

I also from turkey. but i mostly used orkut. Any way his is a wonderful post. I got a huge amount of information from this article. Thanks for sharing this awesome post.

Price
Price

great survey with a lot of valuable data! I would have never thought the results would have facebook being most popular in Turkey and Venezuela. I'm checking the 2008 one after this.. Just found this site, but its awesome! bookmarked

Matt Page
Matt Page

I found your Feb 2010 survey which looked at popularity of different sm sites across ages etc. really useful. Any chance of you doing an up to date version of that as well as this (or at least telling us how you found it so I can dig out the data myself - I'm not very up to speed on how to get the best out of Google's ad planner data) This is great too. How do you find for each country what their biggest sm sites are? Thanks Matt Page

Tommy
Tommy

I visited a SEO conference in London last week and social media was mentioned in every session. The social networks are here to stay, it will change the web forever. I like your facts about the popularity in different countries.

Pingdom
Pingdom

@Matt: Thanks! The age thing you can get from Google Ad Planner, as mentioned. For example, here's Facebook: https://www.google.com/adplanner/planning/site_profile#siteDetails?identifier=facebook.com The "interest in / popularity" shown in this article is from Google Insights for Search. It's normalized (based on search volume relative to the total searches from a country, from what we understand). Just play around with it (links are in the article). If you just want "biggest per country" you can for example start with Alexa.com for different countries (they have website top lists for all countries), or put together numbers from for example Google Ad Planner (where you can also see country-specific traffic per domain).

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