Social Media 2008. Worldwide Passion for Social Media.

by oskarokupa on February 20, 2009

Social Media, social behaviour in the web in general, has arguably been the most significant phenomenon in the Internet world in 2008. Google zeitgeist compiles annually some of the highlights from Google searches around the globe and it is not a surprise to see the supremacy of Social Networks within the list of the top 10 countries with the highest number of Internet users.

Social networking in 2008 has spread like fire worldwide but the most interesting factor to highlight is that almost half the list of the most searched social media sites are based outside of the U.S.

Let’s take a look at the Social media penetration in China. Within the top 10 most popular searches we can find online sharing video channels such as Youtube, Youku or Tudou. We can see that video marketing techniques could be very effective in that market.

In India, Youtube, Facebook, Orkut (which is the most popular Social networking site there) populate both the list of most searched and fastest rising queries. In Brazil, Orkut is the most popular query rivalling with football related information and online games.

Interestingly enough, European countries with high number of internet users behave very differently in the popularity of social media sites. In Germany, Facebook shows up within the top 10 of fastest rising terms but also Yasni, a site to find out about personal social media data, Jappy, another local social network, as well as StudiVZ and Schuler VZ. However, Italians seem to adopt facebook as their one and only social network and although French rate Facebook and their local social medias source Skyrock as very popular, what really dominates the top 10 are music related sites. On the other side of the spectrum, Spain has 8 social media related sites in the top 10 of fastest rising terms in 2008.

In social media, importance of early adopters is paramount since they are the force that make the sites go viral. After a year when the role of social media has started to be accepted as a window of opportunity to tap into the Internet audience in their points of communication, we can say without risk that the Internet is now the Social media Internet, and that despite cultural disparities and degrees of adoption, the Internet world is shifting to more collaborative ways of communication. Companies like Facebook have seen the opportunity, and plenty of other local sites have got on the bandwagon of social media interaction, catering for the needs of their local audience.

Will 2009 be the time of the monetisation attempts of all those companies? Will many of them be weeded out by the ubiquitous Facebook or they will survive with their local approach? I will keep you posted.

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