Wednesday, February 20, 2008

SNATW: Facts & Figures USA

In the previous blogpost, you have noticed that the USA and Canada make up 51% of all social networks worldwide. In absolute figures, this means 503 SN are of American (or Canadian) descent.

Another noteworthy trend however, is that Special Interest Social Networks (*) - meaning SN that revolve around a particular topic or shared interest- are clearly taking the lead in terms of numbers: 278 networks are dedicated to topics such as books, food, parenting, religion, specific age groups, gaming,...the list seems endless.

Taking in mind how the United Stated have dominated the world of social networking so far, it gives an indication to those of you who are wondering where the future of social networking lies: users want to talk about their specific needs and interests, rather than to socialize online for the sake of socializing. We will probably see more specialist networks arrive in the next few months, as the possibilities are endless. Also, it gives the newcomers a better fighting chance to find followers and reach a critical mass; something which is a lot harder to do nowadays when launching a more general SN and having to compete with MySpace and Facebook .

(*) Some American examples include: Humblevoice, Goodreads, Infieldparking, Comicspace, Nirvanawoman, Spout, Bakespace, Warcraft, Zaadz, Patientslikeme, Vostu, ...
For a full list, see pages 69-161 (American special interest networks) and 249- 253 in the book.

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