If you think anyone stands a chance of eclipsing Facebook’s dominance, think again. The social network is now top of the pile in at least 127 countries.
According to social network analyst Vincenzo Cosenza’s most recent biannual World Map of Social Networks, much Of Facebook’s growth in the past few months has been in Asia.
According to Cosenza, Asia has now has 278-million users, surpassing Europe, with 251-million, as the largest continent on Facebook. North America has 243-million users, South America 142-million. Africa almost 52-million, while Oceania has just 15-million.
The site reports that the countries in which Facebook has now become dominant include: Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia and Vietnam.
The two major obstacles standing in Facebook’s path right now are Russia, where V Kontakte reigns supreme, and China where Tencent’s Q Zone is still king. Of the two, Russia seems the more likely target.That siad, the task isn’t easy. V Kontakte is still gaining ground and will most likely be the first social port-od-call for Russians coming online. Interestingly, the Mail.ru group, which owns around 40% of the Russian social network, also has a stake in Facebook.
Tencent meanwhile has a stake in Mail.ru, meaning that both QZone and V Kontakte are, to some degree, stablemates of Facebook as well as competitors. Even if Facebook were banned in China however, it’s unlikely that it would be able to claim much of a stake. The Asian superpower’s social media scene is thriving and diverse, with myriad Facebook and Twitter clones vying for the attention of the country’s 500-million plus internet users.
If and when the country’s ruling party does eventually allow Facebook in it will be met by users on platforms that have matched, and in some cases even outpaced, every new development made by Facebook.
If you want to know where the next billion Facebook users are going to come from therefore, look at emerging markets. Fifty-two-million users on a continent of a billion people? As internet access, particularly via mobile, grows expect that number to explode.