The Global Battle for Social Network Domination

While domestic shifts in social network usage have helped fuel the growth of a select group of social networks, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the real opportunity for expansion of reach is abroad. Last night Eric Eldon illustrated that Friendster, the long forgotten social network which helped fuel domestic social network addiction, could become the largest social network globally thanks to growth in Asia.

In Europe there is another battle taking place. According to Caroline McCarthy, “Facebook’s still a long-shot second place in French social networking, according to the metrics. Skyrock, a site almost completely unknown in the U.S., pulled in 11.5 million unique visitors in April 2008 compared to Facebook’s 3.2.” It’s not all bad news for Facebook though as they grew a whopping 2,877 percent in France year-over-year.

It’s clear that there is a massive race underway to snap up as many users as possible because ultimately once you have a user and all their friends, there is a substantially decreased likelihood of that user shifting to a new social network. That would also explain Facebook’s emphasis on friend recommendations. As the social networks play there own technical battles over opening up and building the most developer friendly platforms, there is still a race just to obtain users.

It’s clear that there is still no official winner and there won’t be one for some time. Who has all of your friends and who do you think will end up winning?

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