Global Social Media: 20 Networks to Know in 2012
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Global Social Media: 20 Networks to Know in 2012

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As marketers and brands expand their social media programs beyond foundation sites like Facebook and Twitter, many have begun looking at social from a global perspective. In this eBook our strategists ...

As marketers and brands expand their social media programs beyond foundation sites like Facebook and Twitter, many have begun looking at social from a global perspective. In this eBook our strategists highlight 20 social networks from around the globe in a quick introduction for marketers wanting a glimpse into the larger world of social media.

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  • Hi Lorena, thanks for your comment. Sina Weibo absolutely deserves recognition for its dominance in the Chinese microblogging space. For this round we were aiming to profile a sampling of networks, not necessarily focusing just on the largest networks. Stay tuned for future publications- Sina Weibo's on our list to dig into more deeply!
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  • Was very surprised to see that Sina Weibo (Chinese version of twitter) was not included on the list of 20 networks to know, especially since it has over 250million users that send more than 86 million tweets a day.
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Global Social Media: 20 Networks to Know in 2012 Global Social Media: 20 Networks to Know in 2012 Document Transcript

  • Global Social Media: 20 Networks to Know in 2012All content proprietary. ©2012
  • Global Social Media: The World Beyond Our Borders As social media evolves, brands and marketers alike are facing the realization that successful global marketing programs will need to grow beyond the mainstays of sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. While this can seem a daunting challenge, to explore the digital world beyond the platforms we know, there are a few global power- players with which social media professionals should get acquainted. To that end, we have assembled an overview of social networks we believe will start playing an active role in brands’ global marketing programs in 2012 and beyond. In the pages that follow we provide a brief look at 20 networks (each with aAll content proprietary. ©2012 minimum of 10 million registered users) from around the globe that showcase social media’s powerhouses. 2
  • Spring Creek Group Methodology Our research was informed by publicly available information, analyst commentary from those publishing in-market and, when possible, firsthand experience using the networks. While this has shaped our initial analysis of these networks, we recognize that elements like membership totals are in flux and are often reported at artificially inflated rates. Our information is based on the most widely reported and commonly accepted figures for the end of the third calendar quarter in 2011.All content proprietary. ©2012 Profiled networks in this publication include: Bebo, Cyworld, Friendster, Habbo, Hi5, Hyves, Kaixin001, Mixi, Me2Day, Nasza Klasa, Odnoklassniki, Orkut, Pengyou, Q Zone, Renren, Skyrock, Sonico, Tuenti, V Kontakte and 51.com. 3
  • 1999The Birth of SocialNetworks: 2000Launches from 1999 to2010 2001For many, social media’s 2002original social network wasFriendster, followed closely Social Networks by Launch Dateby MySpace. However, 2003Cyworld and Habbo werefounded much earlier, 2004offshoots from traditionalchat rooms.For others, it was 2005Facebook’s launch thatcatalyzed the era of socialmedia for the U.S. – this istrue, though Latin America, 2006Western Europe and Asiaeach saw their own socialmedia platform emerge. 2007By the time Twitter joinedthe globe, the landscapehad already grown All content proprietary. ©2012 2008cluttered. In the years thatfollowed, the spacecontinued to grow and 2009fragment, as we canobserve in today’s social 2010landscape.4
  • The Behemoths: Dynasties and Upstarts The largest of the networks we profiled, those we deemed the “Behemoths”, maintained registered user totals at or above 100 million, as shown in the chart below. This set was diverse, representing most of the globe and showcasing both the oldest and newest social networks. From a geographic perspective, the group was dominated by some of the largest Chinese social networks including Q Zone, RenRen, 51.com and Pengyou. Eastern Europe’s flagship sites, Odnoklassniki and Vkontakte, were also highlighted due to their remarkably large user bases. 100M Social Networks with 100M+ 115M Registered Members 117M 129M 135M 160M 160MAll content proprietary. ©2012 230M 530M 5
  • The Small Giants: Powerful Regional Players Though smaller than their counterparts on the previous page, our “Small Giants” are social networks with user totals between 10 million and 99 million that demonstrated the success that can be had by focusing on a single linguistic or geographic region. This group also underscored the truly global embrace of social media. Spanning from Asia to Europe, this group captured the variety of successful approaches from reinventing virtual banking and credit transactions (Hyves), to providing a highly closed and controlled network (Mixi), to focusing on students (Nasza Klasa). 10M Social Networks with 10M-99M 10M 12M Registered Members 18M 20M 22M 25M 27MAll content proprietary. ©2012 46M 66M 75M 6
  • The Behemoths: Signs of Consolidation With Facebook clearly established as the first true global social network, many of the older sites’ stars will wane. For players like Tencent Holdings this may mean rolling up its family of social networks into a single portal. For others, success will lie in earning a reputation as industry- leading in an area like virtual payments, social gaming or location- based mobile offerings. The Small Giants: Innovation Will Be Key For smaller regional networks the pressure is even higher to retain and expand their user base, or else they will quickly lose mindshare to their larger rivals. This has translated into aAll content proprietary. ©2012 continued push towards innovation and differentiation, an environment where networks must carve out a loyal niche to remain competitive. 7
  • Social Network Profiles: A Quick Readers’ GuideThe profiles of each network on the following pages include basicinformation about the networks as well as brief summaries of theirhistory, value to the marketplace and any significant factors that willimpact the sites’ success or growth.Each profile also highlights the network’s primary geographic region(s)on a map in the upper right hand corner. Global Map Network’s Primary Region File Privacy General Virtual Celebrity Gaming Chat Sharing Controls Sharing Payments Business Mobile Users Competitive Focus AreasBeyond this, we highlight through an on/off button system (shownabove) which focus areas the network appears most heavily invested in,those that are considered competitive differentiators.Each profile closes with a summary of the site’s primary competitiveopportunity, that which would most likely contribute to the network’scontinued marketplace success.8 All content proprietary. ©2012
  • 20 Global Networks to Know in 2012All content proprietary. ©2012 9
  • Registered Members: 530 M (approx.) URL: qzone.qq.com Primary Region(s): China Launch Date: 2005 File Privacy General Virtual Celebrity Gaming Chat Business Mobile Sharing Controls Sharing Payments Users ‡ Achieved acclaim as the largest Chinese network by piggybacking on parent company Tencent’s QQ Messenger ‡ Nickname-based network alternative to sister siteAll content proprietary. ©2012 Pengyou ‡ Popular with teen audience, though lagging with older adults Opportunity: Better integration with other Tencent networks could consolidate and better unify segments of the Chinese social market. 10
  • Registered Members: 230 M (approx.) URL: habbo.com Primary Region(s): 31 countries Launch Date: 2000 File Privacy General Virtual Celebrity Gaming Chat Business Mobile Sharing Controls Sharing Payments Users ‡ Fading from its heyday, still attracts high-profile sponsors and celebrities due to teen-centric focus ‡ Several “hotels” (region-specific portals) merged orAll content proprietary. ©2012 closed due to low activity levels ‡ Experienced moderators for age-specific site, well- managed and reliable payments/credits system Opportunity: Potential to leverage exclusive content and promos to drive membership growth in key teen demographic. 11
  • Registered Members: 160 M (approx.) URL: renren.com Primary Region(s): China Launch Date: 2005 File Privacy General Virtual Celebrity Gaming Chat Business Mobile Sharing Controls Sharing Payments Users ‡ Well-earned reputation as “The Facebook of China” and has completed the transition from a college- centric site to an open network ‡ Recent IPO has drawn attention to network’sAll content proprietary. ©2012 continued compliance with state censorship ‡ Clear power player in the Chinese market, even with acknowledged inflated membership totals Opportunity: Increased membership from Kaixin001.com integration could reengage inactive members and attract a broader audience. 12
  • Registered Members: 160 M (approx.) URL: 51.com Primary Region(s): China Launch Date: 2005 File Privacy General Virtual Celebrity Gaming Chat Business Mobile Sharing Controls Sharing Payments Users ‡ Fading in popularity but still widely popular with rural users in China ‡ Lackluster innovation and increased competition hasAll content proprietary. ©2012 drawn comparisons with MySpace’s rise and fall ‡ Will maintain social gaming focus with increased investment by MMO leader Giant Interactive Opportunity: Potential to revamp network leveraging MMO features to expand user base and increase time spent on site. 13
  • Registered Members: 135 M (approx.) URL: vkontakte.ru Primary Region(s): Eastern Europe, Launch Date: 2006 Central Asia File Privacy General Virtual Celebrity Gaming Chat Business Mobile Sharing Controls Sharing Payments Users ‡ One of the first Facebook copycats, now the dominant Russian social network ‡ Maintains a wildly popular integrated torrent file-All content proprietary. ©2012 sharing feature ‡ Recent language build-out indicates market expansion, but site now requires invitation to join Opportunity: Expansion into 67 languages is fueling speculation that the network is planning for an IPO in 2012. 14
  • Registered Members: 129 M (approx.) URL: pengyou.com Primary Region(s): China Launch Date: 2010 File Privacy General Virtual Celebrity Gaming Chat Business Mobile Sharing Controls Sharing Payments Users ‡ Growing quickly in targeted Chinese white-collar and middle class audience segments ‡ Requires that users provide real names, testingAll content proprietary. ©2012 enterprise version for inter-office communication ‡ Recent exclusive local game contract with Zynga indicates social gaming is a clear priority Opportunity: Enterprise offering could open up new user base, while traffic levels and game exclusivity may catalyze site to lead Chinese market. 15
  • Registered Members: 117 M (approx.) URL: bebo.com Primary Region(s): 17+ countries Launch Date: 2005 File Privacy General Virtual Celebrity Gaming Chat Business Mobile Sharing Controls Sharing Payments Users ‡ Once a power player, now lagging in innovation and facing stagnant membership numbers ‡ Recent entrant into social gaming but titles haveAll content proprietary. ©2012 gained popularity quickly ‡ Introduction of Facebook-compatible APIs now allow game porting Opportunity: New ownership could refresh the brand and articulate a more concentrated focus on gaming or traditional social networking. 16
  • Registered Members: 115 M (approx.) URL: friendster.com Primary Region(s): Southeast Asia Launch Date: 2002 File Privacy General Virtual Celebrity Gaming Chat Business Mobile Sharing Controls Sharing Payments Users ‡ Re-launched in 2011 as a social gaming platform, though still carries legacy as a failed social network ‡ Successful virtual payments system embraced byAll content proprietary. ©2012 users for in-game purchases ‡ Multi-lingual single platform with millions of grandfathered accounts Opportunity: Legacy user base that, if reactivated and coupled with new game titles and micro-spending, could quickly scale up earnings. 17
  • Registered Members: 100 M (approx.) URL: odnoklassniki.ru Primary Region(s): Eastern Europe, Launch Date: 2006 Central Asia File Privacy General Virtual Celebrity Gaming Chat Business Mobile Sharing Controls Sharing Payments Users ‡ Consistently ranks as a top 5 Alexa-ranked site in Eastern European/Central Asian countries (e.g. Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan) ‡ Features social gaming and tight integration withAll content proprietary. ©2012 popular email service Mail.ru ‡ Faces stiff competition from local player Vkontakte and global player Facebook. Opportunity: Growth has been slow but steady and has remained the preferred site for highly-educated users in former Soviet states. 18
  • Registered Members: 75 M (approx.) URL: kaixin001.com Primary Region(s): China Launch Date: 2008 File Privacy General Virtual Celebrity Gaming Chat Business Mobile Sharing Controls Sharing Payments Users ‡ Early and dominant player in Chinese office worker user base for social gaming ‡ Plagued by slow game development, recently openedAll content proprietary. ©2012 platform to select partners for app expansion ‡ Users spend twice as much time on this site versus competitor sites Opportunity: Opening its platform should increase title development and may attract a broader user base while retaining existing members. 19
  • Registered Members: 66 M (approx.) URL: orkut.com Primary Region(s): Brazil, India, Japan Launch Date: 2004 File Privacy General Virtual Celebrity Gaming Chat Business Mobile Sharing Controls Sharing Payments Users ‡ Saw little traction in the U.S. market, but quickly flourished in the BRIC region ‡ Tight integration with Google products, especiallyAll content proprietary. ©2012 Gmail, Gchat and YouTube ‡ Fraught with spam profiles and often the target of worm/hacking attacks Opportunity: Established in several emerging markets; with Google backing, there is potential to earn mindshare before other networks enter the market. 20
  • Registered Members: 46 M (approx.) URL: hi5.com Primary Region(s): Latin America Launch Date: 2003 File Privacy General Virtual Celebrity Gaming Chat Business Mobile Sharing Controls Sharing Payments Users ‡ Rebranded in 2010 as a social gaming site with rapid (non-exclusive) title release schedule ‡ Newly launched proprietary monetization platformAll content proprietary. ©2012 (Sociopay) and distribution channel (Sociopath) ‡ Introduction of Facebook-compatible APIs now allow game porting Opportunity: Monetization and distribution efforts may increase profits while new titles could continue to draw new members. 21
  • Registered Members: 27 M (approx.) URL: nk.pl Primary Region(s): Poland Launch Date: 2006 File Privacy General Virtual Celebrity Gaming Chat Business Mobile Sharing Controls Sharing Payments Users ‡ Originally student-centric, now an open network with near-complete market saturation in Poland ‡ Active player in the social gaming market though game titles are fading in popularityAll content proprietary. ©2012 ‡ Has publicly emphasized expanding users’ mobile experience in future development Opportunity: Mobile emphasis tied with gaming expansion could create innovative take on mobile/social/gaming intersection. 22
  • Registered Members: 25 M (approx.) URL: skyrock.com Primary Region(s): Western Europe Launch Date: 2007 File Privacy General Virtual Celebrity Gaming Chat Business Mobile Sharing Controls Sharing Payments Users ‡ Associated with the French radio station of the same name ‡ Popular with self-styled musicians seeking collaboration partners or looking to be discoveredAll content proprietary. ©2012 ‡ Foothold in Western Europe and French-speaking nations especially among youth, but little adoption on a global scale Opportunity: Skyrock radio station offers opportunity for integration or promotion; user base ripe for UGC campaigns. 23
  • Registered Members: 21.6 M (approx.) URL: mixi.jp Primary Region(s): Japan Launch Date: 2004 File Privacy General Virtual Celebrity Gaming Chat Business Mobile Sharing Controls Sharing Payments Users ‡ Controls membership by requiring a Japanese mobile phone number to join ‡ Recent partnership with Twitter perceived as effort toAll content proprietary. ©2012 counter Facebook’s market entry ‡ Popular with celebrities/tarento who maintain official profiles on the network Opportunity: Twitter partnership may loosen up the closed nature of the network, opening up opportunity for expansion to new markets. 24
  • Registered Members: 20 M (approx.) URL: sonico.com Primary Region(s): Latin America Launch Date: 2007 File Privacy General Virtual Celebrity Gaming Chat Business Mobile Sharing Controls Sharing Payments Users ‡ Popular throughout the Spanish-speaking world, recently expanded into the Portuguese market ‡ Offers users unique and separate personal,All content proprietary. ©2012 professional and public profiles ‡ Slow innovation has led to losses to both Facebook and other regional networks Opportunity: Successful Portuguese-language expansion could be replicated across new target markets. 25
  • Registered Members: 18 M (approx.) URL: cyworld.com.cn or Primary Region(s): China, South Korea, cyworld.co.kr Vietnam Launch Date: 1999 File Privacy General Virtual Celebrity Gaming Chat Business Mobile Sharing Controls Sharing Payments Users ‡ Smaller than other regional networks, though user base is loyal to Gaia Online-like customizable design ‡ Failed market entry in Germany, Japan and the U.S.All content proprietary. ©2012 led to abrupt portal shutdowns ‡ Successful premium item marketplace for decorating “rooms” (personal pages) popular with users Opportunity: Monetization model could be replicated in new market launch, though expansion would need to be limited to target geographies. 26
  • Registered Members: 12 M (approx.) URL: tuenti.com Primary Region(s): Spain Launch Date: 2006 File Privacy General Virtual Celebrity Gaming Chat Business Mobile Sharing Controls Sharing Payments Users ‡ Reputation as the “Spanish Facebook” earned through minimalist UI and popularity with students ‡ Strict privacy controls and requires invitation forAll content proprietary. ©2012 membership ‡ Leveraged by parent Telefonica as testing ground for its MVNO offering, overall very strong in mobile Opportunity: Hugely popular in Spanish market with potential to expand mobile/social offerings outside core market. 27
  • Registered Members: 10.3 M (approx.) URL: hyves.nl Primary Region(s): Netherlands Launch Date: 2004 File Privacy General Virtual Celebrity Gaming Chat Business Mobile Sharing Controls Sharing Payments Users ‡ Comprehensive virtual payment program also offers person to person and real-world payments, accepted in most Dutch restaurants/barsAll content proprietary. ©2012 ‡ Small footprint with no expanded language coverage ‡ Social gaming features remain competitive though networking offerings are limited Opportunity: Payments program could rival traditional credit transactions, especially when combined with mobile expansion. 28
  • Registered Members: 10 M (approx.) URL: me2day.net Primary Region(s): South Korea Launch Date: 2007 File Privacy General Virtual Celebrity Gaming Chat Business Mobile Sharing Controls Sharing Payments Users ‡ South Korea’s Twitter alternative with a 150-character limit and a mobile-focused interface ‡ Features official profiles and updates from well-knownAll content proprietary. ©2012 Korean celebrities ‡ Until recently, single language portal; English portal launched in late 2011 Opportunity: With English portal launch, potential to expand beyond current market footprint. 29
  • From Dating to Job Hunting: 3 Additional Networks to NoteAll content proprietary. ©2012 30
  • Professional Networking: More than LinkedIn European rivals Viadeo and XING are clear professional networking leaders. While their user bases remain largely in Europe, both are poised for large scale expansion. As the blurring of professional and social networking continues, these sites are both worth keeping an eye on. Dating and Mobile Hookups: Beyond Online Dating Though online dating networks were not included in our research, the massive dating site Badoo emerged as a strong rival to traditional social networking. Badoo’s mobile integration andAll content proprietary. ©2012 meteoric growth based entirely on word of mouth mean this network is one to watch. However, note Badoo’s growth has also been accompanied by closer public scrutiny of the seedier side of Badoo’s audience. 31
  • Registered Members: 11.4 M (approx.) URL: xing.com Primary Region(s): 200 countries Launch Date: 2003 File Privacy General Virtual Celebrity Gaming Chat Business Mobile Sharing Controls Sharing Payments Users ‡ Largely European and German-language market professional network, smaller than regional competitors ‡ Closed enterprise groups for big-name businesses likeAll content proprietary. ©2012 IBM and Accenture ‡ Successful premium vs. free model and well-respected privacy/anti-spam features Opportunity: Enterprise group model could be replicated to support targeted expansion. 32
  • Registered Members: 40 M (approx.) URL: viadeo.com Primary Region(s): Europe Launch Date: 2004 File Privacy General Virtual Celebrity Gaming Chat Business Mobile Sharing Controls Sharing Payments Users ‡ Largest European professional network, M&A activity helping penetrate Asia and South America ‡ Recent acquisition of a contact management providerAll content proprietary. ©2012 indicates move to differentiate ‡ Profitable with steady revenue stream from premium accounts Opportunity: Active M&A period quickly changing competitive position and global footprint. 33
  • Registered Members: 125 M (approx.) URL: badoo.com Primary Region(s): Latin America, Launch Date: 2006 Western Europe File Privacy General Virtual Celebrity Gaming Chat Business Mobile Sharing Controls Sharing Payments Users ‡ Hybrid dating/chat site with reputation as a source for casual hookups ‡ Remarkable growth based purely on WOM thoughAll content proprietary. ©2012 plagued with rumors of use in sex industry ‡ Successful monetization model with seamless mobile integration Opportunity: Mobile model replication and continued viral buzz could lead to rapid market expansion. 34
  • For additional Lily Croll information Senior Strategistabout this eBook lcroll@springcreekgroup.com please contact: @findlilyhereFor additional Twitter.com/springcreekgrp information about Spring Springcreekgroup.com Creek Group please click any of the Springcreekgroup.com/blog following: Facebook.com/springcreekgroup