Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn: they can all count their users in the hundreds of millions, which is why you know them. But did you know that there are other social networks that can do the same, and you’ve probably never heard of them? If it’s not popular in the Western world it’s likely that you haven’t come into contact with it. Yet, it seems that social networks have an appeal that is cross-cultural, and citizens of some of the most populous countries in the world are networking on sites you never knew existed.
Habbo is an online social gaming site with over 226 million users worldwide as of July 2011. The site caters to teenagers. Users can chat, and interact through avatars within ‘hotels.’ Hotels are essentially communities organized by language and world region, and feature public rooms as well as guest rooms (which users can personalize). Members are now able to play through Facebook.
Essentially the Russian equivalent of Facebook, VK ‘s interface looks almost identical to FB’s (far more similar than Google+). However, it only has about 1/7th the userbase of Mark Zuckerberg’s giant- which still amounts to over 110 million.
Directly translated, Renren means the “everyone network.” Formerly Xiaonei, Renren is one of the largest social networks in China with around 160 million users, and 31 million active monthly users. Another network that is seen as very similar to Facebook, it was also developed on an American college campus on the East Coast: The University of Delaware.
Qzone is the largest social network in China, and the second largest in the world. However, according the Qzone’s numbers, more than 75% of China’s active internet users engage on Qzone, and the site has over 300 million users. Some have claimed that these numbers are suspicious and unreliable.
Although Orkut is owned by Google and was born in California, management of the network officially migrated to the country that presents the largest userbase: Brazil. Use of Orkut never really caught on in the U.S., but it is by no means a failure. With over 100 million users it is arguably one of the largest social networks in the world. It is very popular in India as well.
If you’re curious about which Social networks are the most dominant world-wide, Facebook is still number one with more than 750 million users, but that doesn’t mean they’re number one in every country: check out this incredible infographic.
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