12 Popular Social Networks Around the World That Aren’t Facebook or Twitter
A recent World Map of Social Networks shows that Facebook and Twitter are currently among the hottest social networks in the world. However, they aren’t the only popular social networks. Many countries continue to use social networks that the rest of us don’t have access to, don’t know about or just don’t bother using. It’s interesting to see how these sites compared to the ones that we frequently use.
Here’s a look at 12 popular social networks from different spots around the world:
1. Tencent QQ. With three hundred million active accounts this is actually the largest worldwide social network, even bigger than Facebook. If you lived in Mainland China then it’s probably what you would be using to communicate. It’s primarily popular as an instant messaging program but it has other features including virtual pets, various games, etc.
2. Orkut. This Google-created social networking site isn’t too popular in the United States. However, it’s highly popular in several other countries including Brazil and India. In fact, nearly half of the site’s users are in Brazil and Google decided to relocate where its hosted from California to Brazil as a result of the interest there.
3. Hi5. Many United States social networking fiends have actually used this site. At one point in time it was very popular and there continue to be more than two and a half million U.S. visitors on the site each month. However, that’s only a fraction of the site’s 46 million or more monthly visitors, most of whom are located in Central America and the North Western countries in South America.
4. Yahoo! Maktoob. This is an online portal that contains many different features including a social networking site. It’s the world’s first Arabic social networking site. The partnership between Maktoob and Yahoo! only happened in 2009 so the site is still in the process of growing. However, the Maktoob social networking site has been around for several years and appeals to users who are interested in Arabic social content.
5. Cyworld. If you’re located in South Korea then there’s a good chance that this is the social networking site that you use to stay connected to your local friends. In addition to general social networking services, one features of this site is that you can create your own online “apartments” which you can fill with virtual furniture and appliances. Although it’s most popular in South Korea this social networking site is also available in Vietnam and China.
6. Draugiem. You probably haven’t even ever heard of this social networking site despite the fact that it was launched way back in 2004. That’s because it’s a Latvian site. In fact, it’s the largest social networking site in Latvia with over two and a half million registered users.
7. Hyves. Another social networking site that was also established in 2004 but isn’t well known is Hyves, which is a major social networking site in the Netherlands. There are over ten million registered accounts on Hyves which is comparable to approximately two thirds of the Dutch population (although this approximation doesn’t consider the fact that some people may have multiple accounts on the site).
8. Mixi. This is a world social networking site that a lot of people have actually heard about. That is because a lot of people interested in social media and technology keep their eye on what’s happening in Japan and Mixi is the most popular social networking site in that country. Like Draugiem and Hyves it was launched in 2004. It continues growing year upon year and has had more than thirty million users as of mid-2010 according to a Wikipedia report.
9. One. This is a social networking site that is popular in Lithuania. However, Facebook is also hugely popular in Lithuania so it has to compete with that global site. The site reports in December 2010 that it has nearly three quarters of a million active users and that over one million new friendships had been formed on the site in the previous month’s time.
10. Friendster. Yeah, you’ve heard of this site and possibly even used it before. There are still some people who prefer it to the other more popular social networking options that most of us are using. However, where it’s really popular is in Asia, especially in the Philippines due in large part to the fact that it was the first global online social network to support Asian languages, adding Filipino in 2009.
11. Wretch. This is the number one social networking site in Taiwan. In fact, it is one of the most popular websites out of all of the websites that are visited in Taiwan. If you do a quick online search to find out more information about the Taiwanese site, you’ll learn two interesting things. First, it was banned in China as a censored site back in 2007 and still can’t be accessed by people in China. And second, there’s actually a Facebook page for this social networking site which seems kind of odd since they’re both social networking sites.
12. Nk.pl. Short for its original name, Nasza-klasa, Nk.pl is a social networking site that is used in Poland. It was been around since 2006 and has over thirteen million registered users in Poland. The site has several different types of accounts (such as official accounts and sponsored accounts) including the interesting option of “fictional accounts”.
Have you ever used any of these popular social networking sites? What was your opinion of them?