What's the best social network you can get?

By | October 17, 2012
It depends on where you're coming from. No, really: the trending rationale seems to be a combination of data protectionism and language.

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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4 thoughts on “What's the best social network you can get?

  1. Sophie Wrobel

    +Arnav Kalra Thanks for emphasizing the point – that nothing is private and that vk's interface is tailored to enourage you to share information, is precisely why I refer to it as a highly liberal network.

    Any idea what the various indian networks would be? Not very familiar with the indian social media scene.

    Reply
  2. Jeremi Shearon

    I've always thought language does more to shape a culture than most give it credit for. This supports my hypothesis. 🙂 thank you for posting.

    Reply

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