Posted by : Amitha Amarasinghe Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The World Map of Social Network Penetration Around the World

When I say, “actively manage” it involves logging into your account at least once a week, updating your profile, submitting content and interacting with friends/followers etc.

I’m interested in knowing, if there’s a “magical number” of social media profiles an average human being can handle. (Like the Dunbar’s number of social connections)

My gut feeling says that the magic number is somewhere around 3 to 5. I used to be active on Facebook, Linkedin, and Stumbleupon, for quite a sometime and recently Twitter came into my universe as well. My first impression about Twitter was not that positive, but after carefully blocking out those spam followers and unfollowing people with irrelevant interests; now I can sense the core value of Twitter as a social media tool. I can see myself more active on Twitter than what it used to be few months back. In the meantime, my activity levels on Stumbleupon have dropped drastically during the same period. I have not “discovered” a new page on Stumbleupon for weeks now, and right now there are over 50 page recommendations (by SU contacts) awaiting on my Stumbleupon toolbar for me to Stumble through.



I have the feeling that people are increasingly gathering around the “big three of social media”. If we take the world map of social network penetration, we can clearly see that Facebook has aggressively invaded territories earlier occupied by networks like MySpace and Hi5. If a person become an active participant on all big three social networks; there will be roughly around two pore spots to be taken by other networks. In my opinion more niche-oriented networks (Youtube for video, Flickr for photography, and a Ning network or two to be in touch with a special interest community) can fill these two spots, rather than the competing general-purpose networks for the big three.

These are not “empirically” tested facts, but might be an interesting area for someone to conduct a formal research study.

UPDATE:

Comparing Reach of Flickr.com to Google's Picasaweb


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