My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, a Research Assistant Professor in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, and a Fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

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list of non-english social network sites

I’m trying to track down a list of all major non-English social network sites (definitions below). My interest in collecting this information is for an academic article on social network sites, but i suspect this information would be useful to others as well.

Cyworld: Korean
– launched 1999 as a forum, SNS by 2001
– 20 million accounts (Nov 2006)

Hevre: Hebrew

Lunarstorm: Swedish
– launched 2000
– 1.2 million accounts (Nov 2005)

Mixi: Japanese
– launched 2004 as a diary tool, SNS ?
– ?5.7 million accounts (2004)

StudiVZ: German
– launched in Oct 2005
– 950,000 accounts (Nov 2006)

QQ: Chinese
– launched 1999 as IM, SNS ?
– ?160? million accounts

If you know of ones that i’m missing, could you please add them in the comments? I will update this entry with additions. Ideally, i would also like to know a few things about each non-English site (including the ones above):

  • What do they call “Friends” (both natively and English-translation)?
  • Do they allow people to comment on the profile?
  • When were they launched?
  • Approximately how many accounts do they have?
  • What is the primary age group that uses it?
  • Is there anything significant or unique about the site?

Definitions:

Major: I am looking for the sites that have attracted a core population in that language. They should be relatively large in proportion to the number of speakers of that language. Think MySpace instead of Tagged.

Non-English: I realize that most sites are used by non-English speakers. I’m looking for sites that are dominant in one language where the site’s infrastructure is in that language. If there are multiple languages, i want the dominant one (i.e. Cyworld as Korean not Chinese). Sites like orkut are on the fence because while it is an English site, it is the dominant Portuguese site.

Social Network Site: To count as a social network site, the site MUST have 1) a public or friends-only profile system; 2) a publicly articulated list of “Friends” who are also on the system (not blogrolls). Friends must be visible on an individual’s profile and it must be possible to traverse the network graph through that list of Friends. If the site does not let you “comment” on Friends’ profiles, please indicate that. This is not necessary although it is a common component. I’m not interested in dating sites, community sites, or blogging tools that do not have public profile + friends that are displayed on profiles.

If you have a site that you think fits this, please list it in the comments. The more information you can provide about the site (including links to data but not to the site), the better. I need to confirm these and it’s rather hard since i don’t speak most languages. Please don’t put the site as the URL in your comment – place the name in the actual comment.

Finally, please, i beg you, don’t use my comments as a place to advertise your new startup. I hate deleting comments but i will delete posts people make to advertise sites (as i always do). You don’t get any Google juice from my comments but you do piss me off.

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47 comments to list of non-english social network sites

  • xing wang

    Xiaonei.com (literally means “on campus” in Chinese) is the biggest college SNS in China. Launched in Dec 2005 as a facebook clone, it currently has about 6 million accounts. Most users are undergraduate or graduate students.

    Comments on profiles are allowed.

    Friends are called “good friends” (好友).

    Disclaimer: I’m a cofounder of xiaonei.com.

  • Here’s a few off the top of my head:

  • Hyves: Dutch (The Netherlands) http://www.hyves.net / http://www.hyves.nl

    I see an article on the hyves site (under press) from 15 May that says Hyves.nl is the biggest website in The Netherlands.
    I’m not living in The Netherlands anymore, but it seems now ‘everyone’ is on hyves. Only a few people are on myspace, and hardly none on Facebook (as far as my contacts go, it seems)

    * What do they call “Friends” (both natively and English-translation)? Vrienden

    * Do they allow people to comment on the profile?
    Yes, a comment is called a krabbel

    * When were they launched?
    ?
    * Approximately how many accounts do they have?
    They went over 3 million accounts around 12 March 07.

    * What is the primary age group that uses it?
    ? Same as global myspace crowd, it seems. Half of my highschool class is on there (I’m 25 now)
    * Is there anything significant or unique about the site?

    They’ve got something happening with mobile providers, you can get an sms (text) if you get a new comment (krabbel). And I think you can use it like Twitter as well. I also just read something about Google Maps integration.

    Anyway, I don’t know much about it, I’m sure there are others who read your blog that know more. :)

  • This is not strictly relevant to your question, but has some relevancy from language use. Deaf people who use British Sign Language, are to be found at Bebo. In fact there’s a ridiculously large community there, and its replaced mailing lists, and even deters people from blogging / vlogging. People use other social network sites, but not on the scale of Bebo.

    (Please note BSL users deviate from Deaf ASL Americans here, who have taken to vlogging. I think down to some background variants from both groups, including the difference in educational systems in both countries, plus cultural norms for each’s wider society).

    Language wise, the videos uploaded often contain sign language, in their video box.

    There’s some dilemmas within Bebo, e.g. inability for video comments (this is a problem we have with vlogs / blogging too) and use of sign language on par and equal status to languages that can be written.

    In the past people have talked about building a social network site that’s based on BSL. Creating a site that is BSL (or any other sign language) can start to get problematic from a navigation viewpoint. It can be done e.g. the British Deaf Association’s site, however things start to get ‘busy’ when it comes to including signed navigation. There is of course something called Sign Writing (an attempt re writing sign on paper), but not really taken off over here. There are a few other factors here too.

    Age range? Anything from teens to 30s. Incidence of use tails off, with older groups outside this range. There is a higher use in people in their 20s (over teenagers), which I suspect deviates from hearing norms here. Deaf people at the core of its community, often attend residential deaf schools. Friends that are made at Deaf schools, are treated as family and remain friends for life. (The Harry Potter scenario fits the Deaf community perfectly here, and is frequently cited). After leaving school, people want to re-create these friendships, and a community, on a much much bigger scale than hearing people will. Its not creating an internet friends base, even as a social network tool for the means to another end e.g. networking for work. Its a genuine parallel re what is happening in real life.

    Deaf people are geographically spread out, and will travel hundreds of miles on a frequent basis to meet friends socially. Bebo in some part is like an interim arrangement, or adds a new dimension.

    I suspect Bebo is popular for the following reasons:
    – simple interface, not overloaded with English. Where English is not the preferred language, or English becomes oppressive (Deaf people frequently have a complex relationship with this language). For this reason, Bebo has overtaken mailing lists (heavily reliant on written languages),
    – its a social (as in free time) site, and not a political one (being an oppressed minority group, politics can become an everyday part of life / an opportunity to switch off)
    – pictures, and lots of them. They tend to be pictures of collective social gatherings, and less of personal photos save marking one’s identity, who you are.

    Hope this helps a bit. Could go on about this, I’d planned on writing a blog post about this for a long time, just not got around to it.

  • Hey danah, “IRC-Galleria” could be considered a social networking site that’s the most popular in Finland. The answers to your questions are below:

    * What do they call “Friends” (both natively and English-translation)?
    Friends, simpley friends.

    * Do they allow people to comment on the profile?
    Yes, this is the single most important feature in the service. Other than that people simply look at photos of other users. Therefore the focus of the site is in the photos.

    * When were they launched?
    They launched in December 2000 and were acquired by Sulake (the company behind Habbo Hotel) in May 2007.

    * Approximately how many accounts do they have?
    They have 424 000 accounts. Quite a lot compared to Finland – especially when each user has only one account.

    * What is the primary age group that uses it?
    Their average age for a user is 19,5 years. See this for more info (http://irc-galleria.net/dob.php).

    * Is there anything significant or unique about the site?
    It started off as a website for people to show photos of their selves from IRC (thus the name IRC-Galleria). However, it soon gained a lot of attention from the youth and people who never used IRC began posting their photos there.

    Furthermore, our company Apaja runs a gaming community site that has the second most popular brand among youth in Finland after Google. The site is Aapeli. Aapeli is a gaming community site with stron social networking features that bond the people tighter in the community. Here are the answers to these questions regarding Aapeli.

    * What do they call “Friends” (both natively and English-translation)?
    Friends as well, most users use “pals / kamut”.

    * Do they allow people to comment on the profile?
    Yes, people comment on each others avatars that they are able to create in the service.

    * When were they launched?
    Aapeli was launched some time in 2001.

    * Approximately how many accounts do they have?
    We have about 1.2 million accounts in Finland.

    * What is the primary age group that uses it?
    Average age for a user is 19,5 years. Older players and users in the community are usually women and in their 30s and 40s.

    * Is there anything significant or unique about the site?
    Aapeli has a huge brand awareness in Finland. It also is known as a gaming community site for casual games. Therefore it is simply not a social networking site per se, but combines the social features through gaming – a very universal concept as well.

    If you’d like to know more about Aapeli, I’d be glad to help you.

  • Hi danah
    I can’t remember its name, but I read recently of a major Social Networking site in Brazil.
    As I say, can’t remember its name, but it had millions of users – almost all of them in Brazil.

    It was in a report about Social Networking in the UK – where they were contrasting UK and US/ rest of the world. It was actually something I wanted to refer to – and lost the darn thing! I’d guess it was either on the BBC website, or in the Guardian/ Observer Newspapers, but I’ve not been able to refind it. :(

  • Not sure if you’ve got a queue & have held the last message that I sent, but I’ve done a bit of Googling & have found http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/social_network_faceoff.php – (also a link there to a report about Web Apps in Brazil in general)

    I don’t think that’s the report I’m thinking about, as I’m sure I read it quite recently (since Easter), but Orkut is probably the service I’m thinking of.

  • StudiVZ: German
    – launched in Oct 2005
    – 950,000 accounts (Nov 2006)more than 1 million accounts (Jan. 2007) – some sources report more than 2 million accounts for April 2007
    -> Sch�lerVZ for teenagers. – http://www.schuelervz.net – still in alpha-version, beta planed for 21. June; aprox. 500,000 accounts (June 2007)

    lokalisten.de: German

    What do they call “Friends” (both natively and English-translation)?
    – Freunde
    Do they allow people to comment on the profile?
    – only friends are allowd to comment
    – only friends can see realname
    When were they launched?
    – May 2005
    Approximately how many accounts do they have?
    – 800,000 accounts (May 2007)
    What is the primary age group that uses it?
    – myspace, studivz
    Is there anything significant or unique about the site?
    – members are basically from Munich ( emerged from a local community), but also from Berlin, Hamburg and Frankfurt/M.
    – friends are shown in a “Freundesbaum” (friends-tree)
    – you can search your friends “Freundesbaum” for “Freundes-Freunde” (friend of friend) but can only see their nicknames. you can offer “Freundschaft” (friendship) and if accepted realname is available.
    – “best clickies” -> most viewed user profiles are presented on the start-page
    – “best clickers” -> people who viewed the most profiles are also presented on the start-page

    I think there are some new german communities (most started in the last half year) but they are not relevant yet… but maybe I’m wrong…

    Hope this helps.

  • Gen

    danah, I don’t have time to translate this information for you but there is a very large ecosystem of social network services in Japan.

    Japanese wikipedia has an incomplete list here:

    http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%82%BD%E3%83%BC%E3%82%B7%E3%83%A3%E3%83%AB%E3%83%BB%E3%83%8D%E3%83%83%E3%83%88%E3%83%AF%E3%83%BC%E3%82%AD%E3%83%B3%E3%82%B0%E3%83%BB%E3%82%B5%E3%83%BC%E3%83%93%E3%82%B9%E3%81%AE%E4%B8%80%E8%A6%A7

  • MIXI is the largest SNS in Japan

    * What do they call “Friends” (both natively and English-translation)?

    マイミク(maimiku probably stands for “my mixi”)

    * Do they allow people to comment on the profile?

    Yes (People can write introduction comments of their friends)

    * When were they launched?

    Feb, 2004

    * Approximately how many accounts do they have?

    10 million as of May 2007

    * What is the primary age group that uses it?

    Twenties
    PC

    Age 18-19 20-24 25-39 30-34 35-39 40-44 45-49 50-
    (%) 9.7 33.8 24.7 16.4 8.1 3.7 1.9 1.6

    Mobile
    Age 18-19 20-24 25-39 30-34 35-39 40-44 45-49 50-
    (%) 15.7 42.4 21.8 11.6 5.0 2.1 0.9 0.5

    * Is there anything significant or unique about the site?

    Lots of people got addicted and became a social phenomena.
    The company went public in September 2006.

  • FYI, Gree(http://gree.jp/) is big in Japan too.

    * What do they call “Friends” (both natively and English-translation)?

    友達 tomodachi, which means friends

    * Do they allow people to comment on the profile?

    Yes (People can write introduction comments of their friends)

    * When were they launched?

    Feb 2004 (as the founder’s personal project)

    * Approximately how many accounts do they have?

    1.3 million as of May 2007

    * What is the primary age group that uses it?

    twenties
    under 20[25%] 20-29[43%] 30-39[24%]40-[8%]

  • Hook is Isreali and is supposed to be similar to myspace (I have no Hebrew skills):
    http://www.hook.co.il/

  • Finn

    A major developing social network site in Russia is V Kontakte (В контакте – In contact) – http://vkontakte.ru

    It started in Sep. 2006. As of May 22, 2007 it counted more than 500 thousand users.

    Main idea behind the site is to conect with your school/university classmates. Mostly the population of the site is teens/young adults.

    It has a profile system, friends, it shows mutual friends on the profile. It has pictures, announcements you can make, blogs, you can invite your friends to a party, keep the private groups to discuss the matters with your friends, like I dunno, a party, quals… You can choose which bits of information keep to your friends, which ones to make public, including contact information, pictures… It has public profile comments, private messaging. If your friends upload pictures and mark you on the picture, that picture will be linked to your profile and on your profile it will show the pictures that are marked by other users.

    It has a very easy search options, you can search your classmates by school/year; university/major… etc.

    Basically, I find it a great site to use.

  • Would you count Xing.com as one? As far as I know, the majority of its about 2 million users is from Germany, Austria and German-speaking switzerland.

  • FG

    In Europe there is also netlog.com (formerly facebox.com). They claim “more than 17 million youth throughout Europe”. More at http://en.netlog.com/go/inside/view=about.

  • Robert

    Hallo,

    in Germany a new social network named “Yumondo” (www.yumondo.com) launched a couple of weeks ago. Their main focus is on sharing favourite places, events and “things” with other users. Currrently they are in private Beta.

    * What do they call “Friends” (both natively and English-translation)?
    – Kontakte respectively “Contacts”

    * Do they allow people to comment on the profile?
    – possible via guestbook

    * When were they launched?
    – mid May 2007

    * Approximately how many accounts do they have?
    – 400

    * Is there anything significant or unique about the site?
    – international user base
    – Connection of people, places, events and things

  • Arto: Danish
    – launched 1998 (SNS a few years later)
    – 600.000 profiles
    – friends called “Friends” (“Venner” in Danish)
    – comments are allowed
    – primary age group: 12 to 18

  • You might find useful these lists

    1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_social_networking_websites
    For instance if you search for poland, or finland in those pages you find social networks about those countries.

    2) http://trust.mindswap.org/cgi-bin/relationshipTable.cgi
    226 social networks with the following information: Approximate Number of
    Members, Category, Relationship Information

    I used them as a starting point for a paper as well ;-)

  • In Hungary the iwiw network is wildly popular. To give an example, in Budapest, with 2M residents, there are 668000 iwiw members.
    htto://www.iwiw.hu

  • A French speaking SN, Parano (www.parano.be).
    Plus some information about it:
    http://elearning-global.blogspot.com/2006/11/lessons-from-unusual-social-network.html
    What do they call “Friends” (both natively and English-translation)?
    ‘Amis’
    * Do they allow people to comment on the profile?
    yes
    * When were they launched?
    not sure

    * Approximately how many accounts do they have?
    a huge number…

    * Is there anything significant or unique about the site?
    – mashup of social networking and role play (it’s based on a role play called ‘Paranoia’ and Foucault’s theories of society
    – organisation of regular events for virtual friends to meet in real life
    – Francophone language dominance

    Others to check out, which I found from our survey of young people:
    http://www.draugiem.lv – the biggest SN in Latvia
    http://www.grono.pl – the biggest in Poland

  • Peuplade (peuplade.fr, roughtly translation as “tribe” or “peopolation”) might be the most uncommon one: Paris-based, the key element being the Google Maps navigation tool.

    * What do they call “Friends” (both natively and English-translation)?

    – The most frequent word is “voisin” (neighbors), but beside from the ominous map, there are no real definition; you can have formalized “contacts”.

    * Do they allow people to comment on the profile?

    – No

    * When were they launched?

    – Mid-2006

    * Approximately how many accounts do they have?

    – Cannot tell from the site, but the founder defines himself as a sociologist, so he might be happy to share some insights with a fellow

    * What is the primary age group that uses it?

    – Any; actually, you are not allowed to state your age and you cannot upload your photo—the “spirit” wants to foster neighbourhood cooperation (picking up the groceries to help the grand’ma next floor) rather then dating.

    * Is there anything significant or unique about the site?

    Many things, mainly the “social project” refuses community and wants prejudice-free local interactions.

    Viadeo (formerly Viaduc) is a French-speaking equivalent of Linked-In.

    – “Friends” are called “contacts” (same spelling, pronunciation & meaning as in English), as the site is clearly oriented for the professional sphere (recommendation, marketing, etc.)

    – Comments can be done in the form of a recommendation

    – Funded in 2004

    – Can’t tell how many people ;
    1 423 job offers are on the site

    – Who uses? Professionals, HRs: 30s I’d say because it’s IT, with a long tail of elder people.

    – Only thing specific: bad UI.

    Others, more recent similar sites include Ziki (more Web2.0y) and 6nergies (more entrepreneurial): I don’t want to spam your comments, so are you interested in those or are you keeping a focus on “social” as in “partying”.

    Regarding Jordy’s comment referring to SkyBlog: I’d certainly mention it, as it is a bigger deal here then MySpace anywhere, but technically, it’s a blog engine. LiveJournal with a MySpace tone would be the best definition.

    Friends are “His/Your Friends” (“Ses/Tes amis”) and are distinct from the blogroll: His/Your Favorite Blog” “Ses/Tes Skyblogs pr�f�r�s”); note the site uses the friendly/close ties form “Tu”, instead of “Vous” — an obvious choice for a teenager-oriented group.

    Stats are on the first pages:

    * 9 073 293 Skyblogs
    * 287 969 Articles
    * 1 004 716 161 Commentaires

    Aujourd’hui
    * 6 162 Skyblogs cr��s
    * 400 854 Articles publi�s

    That is 10M accounts, but like MySpace, you have to discount a massive multi-accounts, generally to keep each feed on focus, or because of break-ups. Links help friends to follow the track. The post count (400M) show how dynamic is the service, but the comment rate (1 billon is huge. The second half are “today” stats: new accounts and posts.

  • Me again; check out this list: it mixes French- and English-speaking site, so filter those you already know.
    http://www.sylvainbriant.com/reseaux-sociaux/

  • Roel van der Ven

    Just e-mailed you a list. Might find that useful. Keep it up!

    Roel.

  • Ofer

    http://www.yonja.com/ is a turkish social network site with
    4,062,222 members.

  • RBA

    http://www.eGrupos.net – Spanish

    * What do they call “Friends”?
    Contacts

    * Do they allow people to comment on the profile?
    Each user can allow comments from either anyone, his/her contacts, 2nd degree contacts or nobody at all.

    * When were they launched?
    Oct.2004

    * Approximately how many accounts do they have?
    2.4 million, +70% active today

    * What is the primary age group that uses it?
    18-40 approx.

    * Is there anything significant or unique about the site?
    It started as a spinoff of eListas.net (a YahooGroups-like site in Spanish) that is still running and claims over 20 million registered users.

  • Ken

    I believe Orkut is still the most popular social networking site in Brazil. While it’s not technically a purely “foreign-language” platform, Brazilian users (in Portugese) are overwhelmingly its largest membership.

  • Vilma

    Hi danah,

    I’d like to add some things to the info given by Antti Vilpponen in his comment about the Finnish social networking site IRC-galleria:

    There is a special feature concerning IRC-galleria as a social networking site:
    Even though IRC-galleria does not have publicly articulated lists of friends, members (especially the younger ones still in elementary school, aged 13-15) have developed their ways to articulate, or in Goffman´s terms, to perform their social networks. These include e.g. dedicating the photos to their friends, writing their names to a box in the profile where text can be written freely, and publishing photos where the profile owners appear with their friends.

    You can also establish your own communities inside IRC-galleria. These often are inside jokes of a circle of friends, and therefore also performative of social networks. Moreover, comments of course tell about who do you relate to: comments are often simply exchanging of how-do-you-do´s and “nonsense” babbling: but very important for the articulating and constructing social networks. However, without friend lists, it is a challenge to visualize the social networks like you did with vizster.

    About what “friends” are called: If you pay 10 euros for a year or 3 euros for 2 months, you can be a VIP member of IRC-galleria, and then you can have your private list of friends. These friends are called “kaverit”. The word “kaveri” has a different meaning compared to close friends: the closest equivalent in English for a “kaveri” could be a “pal” or “mate”.

    A bit more statistics: The company maintaining the service claims that 60 % of Finnish youth aged 13-19 are registered to the service. Here is some more info about the statistics (in English), from the press release of the Sulake company when they bought IRC-galleria: http://www.sulake.com/pressroom_releases_23042007.html

    I just finished my master’s thesis about social networking in IRC-galleria, here’s the link to it if you’re interested in a more detailed description of the site (see especially Chapter 2): http://www.mv.helsinki.fi/home/velehtin/IRC-galleria_MT_VilmaLehtinen.pdf

    I´d like also to thank you for the inspiring papers about social networking sites and publicly articulated social networking. I hope the info above can help you as a favor in return!

  • Wow, this looks incredibly useful — thanks! I’d been looking for some foreign-language social networking websites.

  • Ikbis seems to be popular in the Middle East (I don’t have exact numbers). It’s a Flickr/YouTube hybrid/clone. Ikbis means press or click (as in taking a photo).

  • ddun

    Cyworld : South Korea

    * What do they call “Friends” (both natively and English-translation)?
    – 일촌(il chon : il-chon means a close friend)

    * Do they allow people to comment on the profile?
    – Yes.

    * When were they launched?
    – 30/August/1999

    * Approximately how many accounts do they have?
    – 20 million accounts

    * What is the primary age group that uses it?
    – 10-19(15%), 20-29(66%), 30-39(13%) 40~(6%)

    * Is there anything significant or unique about the site?
    – Users can personalize their pages with music, backgrounds. These objects are bought with online dollars called dotori (acorn, in English).

  • I second David’s comment, iwiw.net is huge. It’s mainly in Hungarian although it does support a whole bunch of other languages, mostly European ones, I think. It’s an interesting name, by the way, given that while w is in the Hungarian alphabet, it’s not in any Hungarian words. (I think it comes from Who is Who in this case, then intl Who is Who.)

  • Katrien Van Cleemput

    Dear Danah,

    I think it is very interesting what you are doing here. When I saw your presentation at the ICA conference in San Francisco last month, it really hit me that there could be interesting cultural (and off course sub-cultural) differences in the use of Social Network Sites. For my Phd project I am considering to examine the use of local (dutch) SNS and international SNS by Belgian youngsters. It would be very interesting to see in what different ways they use both kinds of SNS.
    Recently I have conducted a content analyses of two SNS in Flanders (Dutch speaking part of Belgium): Netlog (which was founded by a Flemish company, and is currently gaining popularity all over Europe) and Noxa (which is more alternative, underground, not commercial). I am going to analyse the data during the summer. If you are interested in my findings, I would be happy to send them to you.

    So, to answer your question:

    Netlog: Formerly known as Redbox, Facebox. (http://nl.netlog.com/)
    Created by a Flemish company: Incrowd

    • What do they call “Friends” (both natively and English-translation)? Friends = ‘Vrienden’
    • Do they allow people to comment on the profile? Yes, but the user can choose to make the guestbook (‘gastenboek’) unvisible to not-friends
    • When were they launched? 2000
    • Approximately how many accounts do they have? 1596269
    • What is the primary age group that uses it? Hard to say, as the age range is rather wide (also a lot of 20ers)
    • Is there anything significant or unique about the site?
    Noxa: (www.noxa.net)
    • What do they call “Friends” (both natively and English-translation)? Standard: Friends = ‘Vrienden’, but the user can change the headings of all the topics, so the users often give this category an other name (ex: My Precious One, heroes, I )
    • Do they allow people to comment on the profile? Yes
    • When were they launched? 2001
    • Approximately how many accounts do they have? 24.978 So it is a small SNS, but a nonetheless an active one
    • What is the primary age group that uses it? Definitely teenagers, average age is 16 according to their statistics
    • Is there anything significant or unique about the site? It has no advertisings on it, it looks different from sites like myspace. There is an active use of ‘tags’ on the site.
    Katrien Van Cleemput, University of Antwerp

  • I list the official international social networking rankings on Social Networking Watch, here…

    http://onlinepersonalswatch.typepad.com/social_networking_watch/social_network_rankings.html

    And for online dating please reference Online Personals Watch, here…

    http://onlinepersonalswatch.typepad.com/news/internet_dating_international_rankings.html

    Rankings are from Nielsen, Comscore, Hitwise and most recently I have an agreement from iResearch in China to relist their rankings.

    You can pull more rankings from Alexa’s top 100 international lists but it’s a little painstaking. See…

    http://www.alexa.com/site/ds/top_500?qterm=

  • John Baptist

    Hello. The major Czech social networking site is lide.cz. “Lide” means “people.” It’s not so far from Facebook, structurally, but is used by a surprisingly wide segment of the population. There are kids in elementary school and senior citizens. You can create “friend” relationships between profiles, provide comments on those with whom you have that relationship, and vote on the attrictiveness of any profile. The same site also offers personal ads, email, chat, forums, and so forth. Being Czech, it also happens to be a little bit more forthright about the sexual angle. I’d be glad to provide you with any more information you need about this, if it’s helpful for you. Have a nice day.

    What do they call “Friends” (both natively and English-translation)? Pratele, friends
    Do they allow people to comment on the profile? Yes, as mentioned above.
    When were they launched? 1996
    Approximately how many accounts do they have? A million. That means one in ten Czechs has an account!
    What is the primary age group that uses it? Various
    Is there anything significant or unique about the site? It combines the elements of a lot of other sites, including “hot or not” and dating sites.

  • Great list!

    I’m a self-confessed SNS junkie :P

    For anyone who wants to check out Mixi, the Japanese SNS, I have a sign-up guide and how to use in English guide at:

    http://gaijinwomen.com

    I’ve just joined Cyworld Japan (the main Cyworld is Korean) and it looks nice.

  • Therese

    I find it difficult to refer to QQ as a social networking site, as it’s really more of an IM program with games, avatars, etc. That being said, it is huge (though more and more people I know are switching to MSN, especially since Live Spaces have been included).

  • Here’s a quick, pretty lame review of the Israeli/Hebrew social networks scene for you… (feel free to ping me if for some reason you need more in depth data)

    First – All local social networks that I’m aware of refer to friends as “Chaverim” (hebrew for “friends”), None of them publish membership numbers.

    A quick comment on Hevre (hebrew for “gang”, in the non-criminal, friendly way) which you’ve already mentioned – started (around 2000 or so, I think) as a local version of classmates.com, connecting with classmates/army friends/ex-coworkers. Now combined with a large-ish forums community on various topics.

    Dex
    – Launched ~2004
    – Mostly teenagers
    – No profile comments.
    – Provides a blogging service as well as video, music and photo hosting, as well as the abilty to rate (“star”) one another’s posts.

    TheMarker Cafe – Run by a leading local business newspaper (“TheMarker”); Based on the “Dex” platform; is supposedly business oriented (attempting to be the local LinkedIn); popular mostly among the media/advertising crowd.
    – No profile comments.
    – Launched early 2007
    – Ages ~20-40
    – Other than providing a place for professional networking, seems to have evolved into a dating service for some members; Popular/quality content posted on the community blogs is often featured on the newspaper’s homepage, under the blogs section.

    Shox
    – No profile comments.
    – Not sure when started.
    – Ages: Teens-twenties
    – Provides blogging platform and media hosting; hot or not ratings; A sponsorshop of a local cellular communications provides (paid) SMS updates and communications.

    Hook – (mentioned by someone in previous comments above) is a very new professional social network (1-2 months, I think?). Provides paid “premium” services. Would also very much want to be the local LinkedIn (altho the “Cafe” mentioned above is much stronger); Provides users with the ability to advertise events, products, business opportinities.

  • Songy

    Speaking of QQ technically it is a IM software, QQ Zone is its relevant SNS, which bases on Tencent’s IM service paltform. As one of Tencent’s Web2.0 product it actually profits from selling vitual clothes, hairsyles, and other decorations to its paid customers. 2006 Q3 Tencent report that it has 221.4m active users of total 572.3m registered users, some say it is the world’s 9th largest web property.

  • Hi, i’m going to give a quick walk thro China,

    Social Reading: Douban.com
    Parenting Networking: BabyTree.com

    MySpace-like: 51.com
    Facebook-like: Zhanzuo.com
    Facebook clone: Xiaonei.com
    LinkedIn clone: Wealink.com
    YouTube clones: Tudou.com, 56.com, Youku.com, Ku6.com… (it’s a long list)

    Big portals are not pure SNS here in China, including Baidu (post bar, zhidao, hi5), Sina, Sohu + Chinaren, QQ (Tencent)

  • This info is very helpful for me. I’ve been looking into ways to expand my band’s social-network marketing beyond the US, and many of the sites listed look very promising.

    Here’s an interesting link that shows popularity of various social networks in various world regions as reported by Alexa:
    http://valleywag.com/tech/data-junkie/the-world-map-of-social-networks-273201.php

    This is the second time I’ve come across the word “apophenia” in the last couple days. What’re the chances? ;-)

  • Netlog has over 25 million members in Europe and is currently available in 14 different languages. The site was launched in the autumn of 2006, but founders have experience in social networking since 2000. Netlog is market leading in site usage (pageviews, minutes, …) for continental Europe.

  • Nelly

    XING.com has 4 million users, though the site offers 16 languages, half of their users are from German speaking countries.
    Cheers,
    Nelly

  • fungu.cz is a new Czech social networking portal site inspired by facebook

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