While Facebook has over 230 million active users and has been rapidly growing around the world in the last 24 months, Orkut, the social network run by Google, has remained dominant in Brazil and India. Although Facebook has grown slowly in those two countries, it’s never been able to turn the corner – until now.
Starting about 60 days ago, Facebook’s growth began accelerating rapidly in both Brazil and India, growing several times faster in May and June than it did in March and April.
In fact, Facebook nearly doubled in Brazil during May alone. Its growth has continued in June, and today Facebook has just crossed the 1 million active user mark in Brazil for the first time ever – up 100% in the last 45 days.
Granted, Orkut still claims well over 20 million monthly visitors in Brazil, but we’ve seen this kind of pattern before. Facebook has the potential to double in new countries every 2-3 months several times over as it spreads through new populations, but it is probably still too early to claim that this is the canary in the coal mine for Orkut.
Curiously, however, just as Facebook started exploding in Brazil, the same thing was happening in India, the other major country where Orkut is the leading social network with 13 million monthly active users.
While Facebook has been growing slowly and steadily in India for the last couple of years, Facebook exploded in May and June, doubling from 1.6 million to 3.2 million monthly active users in the country in the last 60 days.
Do these trends correlate? Time will tell, but it certainly looks like Facebook is gaining significant steam in Orkut’s biggest strongholds.
Brazil and India are far from the only countries where Facebook is fighting to claw its way to the top spot. Nevertheless, Facebook continues to grow in almost every country we’re tracking the company in – and in most countries, by double digit percentages in total reach every month. Facebook is clearly a global phenomenon – it will be very interesting to see where things stand in another year.
Note: All data from Facebook’s advertiser tools.