Mapping Facebook’s Recent Global Growth Versus Rivals

Facebook is gaining on most of its competitors, according to another look at social networking around the world. We regularly cover the service’s international traffic in our Global Monitor report; many of the trends, below, will be familiar to our readers.

(Note: Facebook-dominant countries are in light green).

Vincenzo Cosenza, translator of Inside Facebook’s Marketing Bible in Italian (“La Bibbia del Marketing su Facebook”) said on his blog today that this second look was a reaction to the great response his first map in June. That one, like what you see above, was created with data from Alexa & Google Trends for Websites.

In June, the map showed Facebook leading in many parts of the world, with the notable exceptions of QQ in China, Orkut in Brazil and India, Hi5 in Mexico and other countries, Maktoob in the Middle East and VKontakte in Russia.

Our Global Monitor report shows many of the same trends. For example, Facebook’s advertising tool showed 112 million monthly active users in Europe by the end of November, along with 63.5 million monthly actives in Asia. And, as we’ve previously covered, regions like the Middle East are also seeing significant Facebook growth. But we don’t typically compare with Facebook’s self-reported numbers against data on other social networks; here’s more, from the report.

Currently, the service was the leader in 100 of the 127 countries Cosenza analyzed in the map, with the addition of Cuba, Qatar and Reunion. He also deleted Iran from the list, citing a lack of reliable data — the service has been intermittently blocked in the country over the last half year. Here’s more, from his findings:

Facebook’s domination is evident across the globe and has made inroads since June, most notably: taking users from Orkut in India (but no Brazil); from Hi5 in much of Latin America and parts of Asia; from Cyworld in South Korea; from Lidé in the Czech Republic, as well as Skyrock in Guadeloupe and Martinique.

Regional preferences still play a role in use, noted Cosenza, but these are also bending under the weight of Facebook’s influence.

Facebook has taken over Europe, with more than 200 million users, and MySpace — the long-time leader in the US — has lost its spot everywhere but for Guam. Third-party analytics firms have shown a similar change in the US.

QQ continues to lead in China with 300 million active accounts, VKontakte is still strongest in Russia, Orkut has lost ground but continues to thrive in India and Brazil, Hi5 is still a leader in Latin American countries, as well as Portugal, Mongolia and Romania and Maktoob continues to dominate among many Middle Eastern users.

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