On the weekend, I asked what the most popular social networks in your country are. While mostly the 'usual suspects' showed up, a possible generalization may be, that people use the best network that they can get given their linguistic background. While I don't have enough data to make a pretty map (and don't have enough time to Google-translate through everything), I'm noticing a curious pattern emerging – nothing surprising, mind you, but interesting in terms of why people don't just all stick to one big global 'superhero' platform.
What is also fascinating is how that overlays with a map of privacy and data protectionism: between language and data protectionism, you can relatively accurately map out which networks can succeed where: _how_ users prefer to consume information, and how they prefer to see information organized, heavily depends on what they value and are allowed to protect.
Let me illustrate: On the liberal end, interfaces tend to focus on allowing you to provide maximum information, without thinking twice – vkontakte (dominating the 'orange-colored' slavic world) much more so than Facebook (dominating the 'green-colored' world and USA). On the conservative end, interfaces tend to focus on providing you with a clear choice on what is private and what is public – XING (dominating the 'blue-colored' central European world) being a leading example. There are, of course, all sorts of shades in between, such as Hyves, Viadeo, etc.
Map “Privacy and Data Protection by Country”, by Forrester | Guidance Blog
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