Friendster has been slowly losing grip of their social network dominance to Facebook who, like a game of risk, has been steadily increasing its reach in countries around the globe. Bernard Leong recently posted about the growth of Facebook in Southeast Asia and while the most recent world map of social networks shows Facebook running into some trouble in Asia, some numbers are beginning to suggest that they are at least gaining some ground.
So what numbers are these based on? The latest numbers, as presented by Bernard Leong, are based on Alexa ratings which appear to be somewhat wrong in some of the countries due to low sampling sizes. In Germany for example, Alexa claims that Facebook is way more popular than StudiVZ although Facebook’s own advertising numbers don’t even suggest that. Regardless, the company is spreading rapidly and with over 300 million users, there’s no doubt that dominant social networks abroad should be concerned.
No, QQ.com, China’s largest social network which has over 300 million users as well, doesn’t need to be concerned just yet. The company only has 14,220 in China according to their own advertising statistics. For a country with 1.3 billion people or so, 14,200 means the company has a long way to go. While I believe Facebook has the capacity to grow throughout southeast Asia, I don’t believe Facebook as strong of a grip on the region as Alexa illustrates.
However the company does appear to be slowly making some ground and they’ve proven the capacity to do so in other countries as well. For now, Facebook continues to grow rapidly which means that any significant investment in conquering other regions isn’t necessary yet. While Asian dominance doesn’t appear likely in the short term, Friendster may no longer serve as an effective substitute which means all the world may one day be on Facebook.
For now we’ll have to wait and see but this region will be one which ignites fierce battles over the coming months and years.