[Click above image for animated version] When looking at the next “know” for Omkno, the distribution of Social Networks across country boundaries are always important. We’d like to provide a targeted service and be able to advertise to a specific group of people, rather than everyone all at once. Orkut and Brazil come to mind. In 2004, Google released this social networking service – which was met with a resounding ‘meh’ every country in the world – except one. Yes, Brazil, where the only thing from keeping packs of street children from pelting your car with soccer balls are the thong backed bathing suits of the local sun worshippers. Don’t even get me started on what exactly a copacabana contains.
Hey Orkut – Don’t Forget Estonia
Nonetheless, Brazil still counts for a large percentage of the current 100 million active Orkut users. Orkut counts for nearly 60% of Orkut’s active user base – with India coming in at around 30%. There is even terminology throughout Brazil to refer to low-brow content churned through comments on the site, called ‘Orkutization’. Sounds like our kind of crowd. Orkut can also claim to be the tallest midget by being the number one social network in Estonia.
For a company that is notorious for cutting off their loose ends on projects that don’t receive sufficient traction – one surmises the rationale for keeping these two countries strung along, rather than converting them to Google Plus.
Vince Consenza has a great animated version of this map over on his blog, showing the spread of social networks throughout the past few years.
There seems to be a insular trend among several countries, Estonia and Brazil included. As is the case with Russia (VKontakte) and China (Baidu), they tend to use homegrown solutions more readily than the American-provided versions of either search engines or social networks. Whether this stemming from a distrust of the United States or an aesthetic / functional preference, I’m unsure – but the old adage that “countries with McDonalds restaraunts don’t go to war with one another” readily comes to mind.