I found a curious cartogram of social network usage across the globe on the French newspaper Le Monde this morning. Check it out:
A few thoughts on what this means and the limitations of the map:
– The world is fragmented along the lines of old mercantilist relationships in some cases (France and Cote d’Ivore) and not in others (UK and India).
– Primary correlation between countries on a social network is language (Myspace/Facebook is all over the English speaking world), but the inverse isn’t true (Brazil and India are hot on Orkut). Also note Myspace is player in all continents. The punchline is that first mover advantage seems to apply in droves here.
– The Western Hemisphere seems to have entrenched players
– Combine the above two points plus an untapped China, and you reach the incontrovertible result that everyone in this space in 2008 will be focusing their efforts Asia for growth in new users.
– I’d be curious to see what European adoption looks like if you take out Ireland, where Bebo is ubiquitous. Seems as though users are dispersed evenly.
– Noticably absent are quasi-socialnets like Twitter and Flickr. Pete Kaminski tells me Flickr is huge in Saudi Arabia, and may make that the default social network there.
– The color scheme is a bit deceiving. Let’s do a little quick math here to see how. Assuming 75% of Canada’s 33 million population is on facebook, and none are on Myspace (unlikely), that means that there are about 150 million Facebook users in the U.S. compared to 223 million myspace users. That means at most, the ratio of Myspace users to Facebook user is 3 to 2. Yet the U.S. is firmly colored with “myspace”. I’m sure similar dynamics apply elsewhere.