Social networking is amongst the hottest topics of the past few years, but while our US Centric media has focused on Twitter (popular in urban areas) and Facebook (popular throughout the western world), the growth of social media is universal. Here is a country-by-country map of the dominate Interestingly, Google’s Orkut has a small presence in Latin America, and it is likely that Facebook will overtake it in 2010. This has the added benefit of destroying anyone who thinks that Google’s web dominance in anyway approaches Microsoft’s desktop dominance in the late 1990s.
Most interesting to me, the map looks increasingly like a Cold War map, with NATO/Facebook squaring off against Warsaw Pact/V Kontakte, although the division is less political and more language based. Proper Cyrillic support is necessary in Russia and areas with high numbers of Russian speakers. As communication morphs, increasingly email is the dominate business communication and social media is the dominate personal communication method, making sense of personal communications matching personal friendships while business needs the real time communication for which the academic system was developed for.
As communication increases, the world becomes increasingly similar, and a US-centric view of your potential user base may look myopic as more and more of the world starts to look similar. If you can sell in the US via Facebook, you can sell across Europe via Facebook, as long as you adapt to the social and language conventions of your target country.