One of the amazing things about the Web 2.0 sites is that their founders seem to have no clue as to where success (their community members) will come from. It’s one of the facets of globalization: one can succeed in the least expected place. I found a map describing this phenomenon in the case of social networks. Lucas Shaw from Wandamere is its author and it was published by Valleywag.

Using Alexa data, this map of the World shows how different sites position themselves in different countries. Bebo dominates in Australia and New Zealand; Blogger in Iran and Spain; Fotolog in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay; Orkut in Brazil, India, Pakistan and Paraguay; LiveJournal in Russia and Belorussia; Facebook in such different countries such as: Canada, Egypt, Jordan, Norway, Panama, South Africa and the United Kingdom. SkyBlog is very successful in Belgium and Senegal; CyWorld in South Corea; Studiverzeichnis in Austria and Germany and Hi5 in Mongolia, Colombia, Tunisia, Honduras, Kuwait and Peru (amongst many others).  Now this was suprising to me because Fon the company I manage is growing pretty evenly in all the developed world.  Fon can only grow where broadband has previously deployed.  Broadband is mostly deployed in the world in 7 time zones out of 24.  These are the Japan, East China, Korea, time zone.  USA, Canada, Mexico time zone and European time zone.  These area which is 7/24/2 of the planet (these countries are all in the Northern Hemisphere) has over 90% of the broadband of the world.  But it is very interesting that with Fon we don´t see strong preferences.  Our Foneros are pretty well distributed between North America, Europe and East Asia.


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Antoin O Lachtnain on August 2, 2007  · 

Bebo is big with teenagers in Ireland (but not in the UK). No one can explain quite why this is. I understand that the original target demographic for bebo was college age Americans. From a cursory look, I think that part of the reason may be the subtleties of social structures in each country and that different networks have slightly different rules which may suit a particular situation better. No doubt language is a factor too.

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Pablo on August 2, 2007  · 

Martin, nice landscape.
Immediately the question that arises is why? Do the site’s name, technology or even the look and fell make a difference in social networking? To what extend first movers (the first service that appears in the country) capture/retain more market just for being the first rather the best? Is there some space for second movers? Would these users change its platform for a new – improved – one?
The closer analogy I can find is the ICQ epoch. While the explosion of chatting brought to the general user the concept of having real-time interaction with other users. Back then, nobody believed that ICQ could be replaced by products of Microsoft, Yahoo, or AOL. However, it happened. They were easier to install, to migrate from machine to machine, had more features and better usability and security. Moreover, many companies adopted/allowed messengers within their networks (firstly, Yahoo and AOL and later MSN) for business (and personal?) purposes.
Therefore, what can be done in this market? Is there any chance to create better services? For sure yes. However, how can these users be captured? In which way the innovation can be more effective? Which controllable and uncontrollable factors can we find to create a radical, or even better, a disruptive innovation that can capture users making their life easier? Because, we have seen that incremental innovations (improved imitations) in this case do not work.

by the way, there is no myspace here?


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skynet on August 2, 2007  · 

How can FON be evenly distributed as it doesn’t sell any FONera’s in eg Australia or South America?
Also in the past the USA got 3 invites while the others got 1 invite… so the USA could evolve 3-fold!


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DomPierre on August 2, 2007  · 

I haven’t heard anyone articulate what exactly Web 2.0 is supposed to be or do. So far, only generalities.

Maybe with “Web 2.0”, I’ll be able to watch movies online, thereby making it my tv. Otherwise, I think in countries with established high-speed internet, usage may decrease because virtual life will never substitute for real life.

As far as social networking, it seems like a lot of hype to me. The different companies may have a high sign-up rate, but I bet they also have short retention and high abandonment rates also.

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Simon on August 2, 2007  · 

In Denmark is the leading social site, and in Poland it’s…
Just to fill out the empty spaces in Europe 🙂

I think America with Facebook and MySpace should be more blurry, and not divided like that, cause I’m pretty sure MySpace and Facebook is used just about the same in america, just by different and often the same users 🙂

But interesting map, have been wondering how orkut could get so high on the alexa list without ever hearing about it.

And as a little input – I don’t think Alexa is so reliable, it’s made from the 2-3 million users with a Alexa Toolbar, but still like to look at the top 100 from time to time and see what’s happening around the world 🙂

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Martin Varsavsky on August 6, 2007  · 


I see the Web 2.0 as the web in which the content is generated by the user and the value of the sites increases as more users contribute content.

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