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Facebook Still Leading Social Network Worldwide: Number One in 127 Countries

Sites include , , . Published on January 4th, 2013. Written by Anthony West.

Facebook has the most active users of all social networks and with its sights set on the next 1 billion users, the company is poised to dominate the social networking space. But dominance can only go so far and without new users streaming into the funnel, Facebook like many others who vie in the social networking space may find a level beyond which growth becomes impossible.

Social media strategist Vincenzo Cosenza updates his annual list of social networks and the spots on the map that they occupy. Dubbed the “world map of social networks” Cosenza has become a bit of an authority when it comes to measuring this penetration of social media websites. His latest chart which looks at the happenings over 2012 show that the social networking space has dwindled insofar as key players are concerned; globally there are now only 5 major social networks.

Asia driving growth and engagement

Facebook has more or less not grown in the U.S. by any meaningful margin and much of the social network’s growth has come out of Asia. In that region Facebook users total some 278 million. Clearly giving the numbers constraint in North America, Facebook needed to branch out and this early recognition is now paying off. Further a afield in Europe Facebook’s total user base is tipped at 251 million; before Asia started bringing more users to Facebook Europe was the region that dominated Facebook engagement.

The Facebook numbers are impressive in most regions of the world and the social networking giant has more than 243 million users in North America; 142 million in South America and 52 million users in Africa.

Who else dominates?

Cosenza’s social media map shows that Facebook’s growth is only impeded by the local players that have managed to keep their services relevant. Local social networks like QZone, Odnoklassniki, V Kontakte and Cloob, all in some way have managed to hold their own against the Facebook juggernaut. Russians while enamoured by Facebook, still show tremendous loyalty to local social media sites, V Kontakte and Odnoklassniki. The battle between these two local players is very fierce, in fact were it not for V Kontakte’s 190 million registered users; it would be playing second fiddle to Odnoklassniki indefinitely.

According to Cosenza’s map, Facebook is barley brushing the surface of what Asia giant QZone is doing in terms of users. There are a whopping 552 million users in Asia who call QZone home and this number is climbing as Facebook’s numbers in the region climb. Social networkers in Iran have largely abandoned efforts to use Facebook as their main platform, preferring instead to use Cloob.

All in all Facebook dominates on a country by country basis and is still number one in more than 127 of the 137 countries that make up Cosenza’s annual study. What is perhaps even more astonishing is the rate at which social networks are dying off. Back in June 2009 there were 17 social networks vying for user attention; today there are only five main players. Next year we may very well see another casualty.

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