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Facebook owns the world, rumors of empire decline may be exaggerated

The world is blue, Facebook blue to be precise. The 900-million strong social network is predominant in all but a few of the world’s countries.

Nur Bremmen: Staff reporter
Nur is an enigma with a passion for creating words. He recently entered a love affair with technology and chorizo sausages. He travels a lot -- you... More

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The latest world map of social networks, which charts social network popularity by country, shows that the last real bastions of resistance to Facebook dominance are Russia, China, Iran, Vietnam, and Latvia.

In those countries, the social networking giant is held at bay by local efforts V Kontakte and Odnoklassniki in Russia, Zing in Vietnam, and Draugiem in Latvia. Thing is, it could well be on its way to dominance in these territories.

Vietnam is one of the top five countries for Facebook growth at the moment. Numbers are also up in Latvia, but down in Russia.

The one country where it’s unlikely to break into in the foreseeable future is China, Where Tencent’s Q Zone is king. That said, the Chinese social giant would still want Facebook to succeed, given that it owns indirect shares in the company through Russian investment group Mail.ru.

Although the company still has countries it could viably expands its presence in, that growth may be at a slower rate than ever before. According to comScore data cited by the Wall Street Journal, Facebook’s US growth only amounted to five percent in April to 158 million.

That’s reportedly the slowest growth rate since comScore started tracking data in 2008. That said, more than half of the US population is now on Facebook. Add in areas with poor or limited bandwidth (yes those do exist in the States) and the fact that fairly large percentage of non-users are children under the age of 13, and you can see that there may not actually be that much space for the social network to grow in its home country.

The world map of social networks is collated using Alexa Rankings and Google Insights Data and is updated twice a year.