Vincenzo Cosenza has been looking at the global patterns in online social networking for quite a while, and he's now upgraded his global map of the most popular social networking services by country. It's built by analyzing Alexa traffic, and it tells one very simple story: The Facebook, as it was once known, tolerates no survivors as it expands its empire around the globe.
The map of social network use for June 2013 is almost entirely Facebook blue. Cosenza notes that Facebook's user count is now 1.155 billion monthly active users, and that while Asia is its biggest single dominant region, at 339 million users, Europe is close behind at 272 million, and the U.S. and Canada between them only muster up 198 million users. Latin America and Africa combined make a huge user base of 346 million people.
The battle doesn't always go Facebook's way though, and while it "won" South Korea from earlier network QZone, it "lost" Latvia to Draugiem, where the small local network has 1.282 million registered users.
The scene is very different from June 2010, where Orkut still held sway in Brazil, and a radically different map shows how the scene looked in June 2009 where 17 different social networks were locally popular.
Facebook, by virtue of promising to connect up folks everywhere, has achieved domination by mass uniformity—odds are now that if you want to connect to a friend on a social network they'll be on Facebook rather than any other network, and that's a huge gravitational pull on anyone who's joining a network for the first time.
This map may slightly depress you, if you think about it. Global cultures are full of quirks and local peculiarities that express how different and fascinating the human race is. And yet in Facebook's social network we're all largely the same, presenting our idiosyncratic lives through the flat, blue conformity of Facebook's interface—an interface whose mores and morals are controlled by a small group of privileged Americans.
Cosenza's data may, on the other hand, cheer you up. If we can all share something as like Facebook, maybe the digital world can spur some more real-life agreements.