Monday, February 14, 2011

I so hold on Facebook the other networks "glocal"

For most Western users are unknown names, in some cases even unpronounceable. They are called V Kontakte, Draugiem or Orkut. Or OdnoKlassniki, or Qzone Cloob. They are social networks, like dozens of others on the web, but with a difference. Beyond the borders of the West facebook, that enormous empire from the United States, across Europe and arrived in Australia, are battling hundreds of millions of users, often surpassing the patriarch Facebook in terms of Internet traffic.

It is a war that no one says, in Italy colonized by Mark Zuckerberg, but that looks like a modern Risk of sociality. And that today is being fought mainly in two areas of the world: Asia and South America. The network of clones. At present, the scenario is more unusual than the former Soviet Union, where Facebook does not seem able to penetrate as in any other part of the globe.

V Kontakte is here to dominate, a social network founded in 2006 by the young Pavel Durov, a student of St. Petersburg with a winning idea: if you have already worked elsewhere, try here. It is no coincidence that V Kontakte is often called a "social-clone". Facebook takes over from the interface, from MySpace the opportunity to share audio files from YouTube to share video files.

There is no lack tools for jobs or for questions and answers between users, just not to miss anything. A melting pot, the original part, it works great: more than 100 million subscribers today, in just over four years. In the same area, have established themselves in the meantime many other social networks declined in Cyrillic.

This is the case of Russian OdnoKlassniki, a site for finding old school friends, as was the case with the debut of Facebook, which now stands about 50 million users. Or MoiKrug, a service for the labor market that is inspired by the western United States. All to the detriment of the Colossus of Zuckerberg, who last December, according to data from Google, has slipped off the podium of the network most users visit North Asia.

Beyond the Great Wall. In Central Asia, the Risk of social networks is even more complex, but also culturally fascinating. In China, still dominates Qzone, a social network that reflects the features of Facebook, but with an economic model "freemium": Free registration and basic applications, but additional services offered for a fee.

A phenomenon that almost 400 million users, but overshadowed by the lack of transparency in official data. Associated with the messaging service QQ Messenger, of nearly 600 million subscribers, Qzone would count on an extensive fact-zombie population profiles, derived from those of its QQ Messenger.

Even more unusual, the situation in Mongolia, and settled until last year by a social network blatantly American, Hi5. Only after the latter's change of course, that pure social network is preparing to reinvent itself today in online gaming platform, Facebook has regained the leadership in the country.

In Japan, by contrast, contend for the leadership two realities in the West unknown: Mixi and Gree, respectively oriented web and mobile. In both cases, the watchword is "entertainment." The people you meet on the basis of common interests, to create micro-communities within which to share their opinions, share content or, more simply, play together.

A variation, perhaps inevitable, for the land that made the popular video games. The last resistance. On the western front, dominated by the overwhelming power of Facebook, only South America still resists colonization. The last bastion here called Orkut, Google's social network with an unusual story behind it.

Launched in 2004, the service is initially imposed in the United States and to some extent, Japan. The subsequent decline in terms of North American users, migrated to new networks on the rise, however, was marked by its explosion in countries such as Brazil and India, where it still maintains a significant market share.

An unexpected fate for a site for more than 100 million users, but which can also count on two strengths: Google-style interface, which is relatively minimal, and integration with other services in Mountain View. And in the rest of the world? According to data from Google and Alexa, Facebook is now the market leader in nearly 115 countries on 132.

A record broken patchy in some areas only, where small resist local social network. This is the case of Dutch Hyves Cloob or the Iranian, to name but two poles apart. Or, the Lithuanian Arabic or Draugiem Maktoob. For most of these apostles, the principle is that of Facebook, now in its comprehensive services, but the population and language of reference are those of a specific geographic area.

It is the social network that resists glocal: the one where they meet "all others". To find out what Facebook actually is not the center of the Internet.

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