Friday, April 11, 2008

The importance of critical mass in social networking

I came across this graph on the preferred use of social networking sites from Le Monde, courtesy of O'Reilly Radar. You probably need to click on the image to see it in full size to be able to read it, but it shows which networking sites are the biggest in different countries.

MySpace is the biggest in the US, Venezuela and Italy, while Hi5 is the most popular in Central America, Portugal and Mongolia. Like most Norwegians I prefer Facebook and so do the Canadians and the Egyptians. Orkut is most popular in India and Brazil, while Bebo is most popular in Ireland and New Zealand

In most cases there is no pattern, like language, connecting the countries with similar preferences. In stead I suspect it is all about being the first to reach critical mass. When you consider which social network to join you are obviously most likely to join the ones where you friends already are, creating a snowball effect that benefit first movers in the area.

I believe there is a lesson in this for us as well; if we want to succeed in building something similar inside a company, you need to get the snowball rolling...


Urs E. Gattiker said...

We are trying to decide if we should include this blog in the FT ComMetrics Global 500 blog index described here:

For Switzerland we have so far Swisscom as the only one here:

Do you still continue blogging here or did the blog die since no new posts were add for several months.

Cordially, urs

Stein-Ivar said...

No, I haven't stopped blogging, at least I have made no concious decisions to stop. But times have been busy. I have every intention of being more active again, but I still hope the average Swiss blogger is more active than I am...

Anonymous said...


Wonderful news, so we add your blog to the FT ComMetrics Global 500 blog index :-)

keep posting.