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Old 04-25-2012, 10:54 PM
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,639 posts, read 18,116,906 times
Reputation: 6913


Are social networks other than Facebook still "hanging on" in some parts of the world? What social networking websites were popular in your country, and when?


It used to be that each country or region of countries had its own dominant social network. In the U.S., it was Myspace; in Finland, it was IRC-Galleria; in Germany, it was StudiVZ; in Mexico, it was Metroflog; in India, it was Hi5; in South Korea, it was Cyworld, in Brazil, it was, until very recently, Orkut.

Recently, Facebook - originally limited to some U.S. universities - has overtaken many or most of these social networks in the national markets they formerly dominated and is, by a long shot, the most accessed social networking site in the world.

In the U.S., Facebook did not come to dominate the social network scene until roughly 2008. In fact, it did not open up to public registration until 2006, two years after it debuted, and even then MySpace dominated the U.S. market for some time afterwards.

Social networking appeared to first become popular among students and young people in the U.S. with sites like Xanga in 2004.

The first one to become *really* big (where most of your friends had a page, if you were young) in the U.S. was Myspace, which spread like wildfire in 2005 and 2006. Myspace was used primarily by people over 15 or 16 years of age; for middle school students, Bebo was a mainstay.

Meanwhile, Facebook became ubiquitous at university campuses around the country in 2005, and a large percentage of college students maintained both Facebook and Myspace pages (to keep in touch with their non-college friends).

In the late 2000's, social networking became a mainstream activity not only among people in their 30's and under, but adults in general. This seemed to be preceded by, or even coincide with, a rapid decrease in the activity of formerly active Myspace users. Many deleted their accounts, but a prodigious number remain open but dormant, almost like fossils testifying to the decline of Myspace.

Today, Facebook dominates the social networking scene in the U.S. You can almost expect to find a random person on Facebook if they are old enough to read but not over 65 or 80 years of age. Twitter is a distant second among social networks, but it seems that most Twitter users also have a Facebook, as the sites vary in their functionality and style. LinkedIn is a business "networking" site seemingly popular among professionals, but not others. Pinterest appears to be the next new thing.
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