Thursday, August 9, 2007

The world thinks the world of Web 2.0

posted by Andy Leff
Just this week, global Internet information provider comScore released a study revealing social networking's dramatic global expansion over the past year, especially among major social networking sites.

Here's what I found most interesting (in light of our recent Friendster post):

"While attracting global users, specific social networks have a tendency to skew in popularity in different regions. For example, both (62 percent) and (68 percent) attract approximately two-thirds of their respective audiences from North America. That said, each has already amassed a large international visitor base and both appear poised to continue their global expansion. has a particularly strong grasp on Europe, attracting nearly 63 percent of its visitors from that region, while Orkut is firmly entrenched in Latin America (49 percent) and Asia-Pacific (43 percent). Friendster also attracts a significant proportion of its visitors (89 percent) from the Asia-Pacific region. Both and exhibit more balance in their respective visitor bases, drawing at least 8 percent from each of the five worldwide regions."

These figures are an important reminder for North American businesses to forego regional myopia, and remember the “world” part of World Wide Web. Tapping into an area's preferred social network -- rather than your preferred sites -- and reaching out to your intended audience on their turf increases your chances for connection.

Better yet, find out why these sites are more attractive to people in different regions. How do they use the sites? What features or benefits appeal to them? You can then use this insight into their style and usage preferences to further develop your online product or service.

The result: By expanding your digital worldview, you'll broaden your business's horizons, too.

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