South Africa is ‘best friends’ with the United States on Facebook

Global payments giant Western Union has revealed that the United States is South Africa’s “best friend” online.

The announcement comes in the form a league table which was created using data from Western Union’s Your World Facebook Application. The app visualises each user’s Facebook connections around the globe and gives them a score for how globally connected they are.

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Your World claims it has received more than 250 000 hits worldwide since its launch in July this year, as individual users compete in its “Network 160 Challenge”: A hunt for the world’s most globally networked person on Facebook.

With so much aggregate data being generated by Your World, Western Union has been able to build a bird’s eye view of how different countries connect to one another on Facebook. The data reveals the average South African user has an average of 26 friends in the US, placing the US at top of SA’s online friends list.

Western Union launched the Your World Application and associated Network 160 Challenge in July this year to mark its 160th Anniversary and celebrate its “unique status as one of the world’s most globally connected brands”. With 455 000 locations in 200 countries and territories turning over 19 transactions per second, Western Union claims to have “greater physical presence” than any other company globally — and ten times more locations than famous global restaurant chain, McDonald’s.

Western Union President and CEO, Hikmet Ersek, said:

We’re delighted that so many consumers have been enjoying Your World. It not only gives them a fun way to see their global network, but as a business provides us with a fascinating bird’s eye view of how countries around the world connect to one another. Western Union has been privileged to connect people across the globe for more than 160 years, so this kind of insight is invaluable.

He added: “On the 18th of October we will be announcing the winner of the Network 160 Challenge — the Your World user who has the most global connections. We will be inviting him or her to partner with us to use their network as a force for good. So I would urge anyone who has not yet tried out the Application to give it a go.”

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