Every June and December, social media strategist Vincenzo Cosenza updates his “world map of social networks” to show what the most popular service is in every country around the world. The latest update, for December 2012, reveals that we’re down to just five top social networks, and that Facebook now dominates 127 of the 137 countries worldwide tracked by Alexa.
With over 1 billion monthly active users, more than 600 million of which are mobile, it’s not surprising that Facebook has retained its number one spot. If anything, the service has all but ran out of countries to conquer: it now faces the tough battle of unseating very popular local competitors in countries where governments block the site.
Nevertheless, Facebook’s continued dominance is mainly thanks to growth in Asia where it has some 278 million users, according to the Facebook Ads Platform, recently surpassing Europe’s 251 million as the largest continent on the site. North America has 243 million users, South America has 142 million, Africa is at almost 52 million, and Oceania has just 15 million. In 2012, Facebook became the number one social network in Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, and Vietnam.
The December 2012 edition of Cosenza’s map shows that the following five social networks are at the top in at least one country in the world: Facebook, QZone, V Kontakte, Odnoklassniki, and Cloob. In Russian territories, V Kontakte is beating out Odnoklassniki thanks to its now 190 million registered users, while QZone owns the Asian landscape with 552 million users, and in Iran, Cloob has taken over since Facebook access is difficult due to state censorship.
Let’s compare this to the previous reports. There were 17 social networks in June 2009, 16 in December 2009, 14 in June 2010, 11 in December 2010, nine in June 2011, six in December 2011, and seven in June 2012. Social networks Drauglem and Zing were knocked off by V Kontakte and Facebook, respectively.
How long will it be before Facebook starts losing its prized number one spot?