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The world’s largest online social network is obvious, right??!

February 25, 2009

Wow, wow, wow! Every now and again a statistic so blindingly amazing (then obvious) jumps out and stops you in your tracks.

Almost always these proclamations come from China. So when I read the web2asia post translating a recent Tencent report saying that its social network QZone now has 200 million users (compared to 175 million for Facebook), I was like WTF?!? Then the post goes on to note (in a very understated way) that IM service QQ once had 50 million concurrent users, potentially a new record. Potentially – surely number 2 isn’t even close.

I was at a meeting today with a very smart man, talking me through his very smart social media product. However, it was clear that his lens was still polished by a commercial model based on making money from the USA. One of the messages that I delivered to him was that deep discussion of local language capability (esp. Mandarin, Korean and Japanese) would be necessary to grow in Asia.

I hope he got it – the more and more I look at statistics like the above, the more obvious it becomes.

Hat Tip to Michael Netzley at communicateasia for this.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2009 9:59 AM

    Interesting if not wholly surprising. I wonder if they’d release more data besides that. Not just total users but average time on site, average number of friends, if they have apps like Facebook etc…

  2. johnkerrnz permalink*
    February 26, 2009 11:25 AM

    Indeed – I’m seeing waay too many dodgy-looking statistics at the moment, so full disclosure is always good for validity…

  3. February 26, 2009 11:49 AM

    Agree with the point that local languages play a huge role in Asia, but I’m rather annoyed when my prefered language is set to English on Facebook yet I still get Malay language alerts in my email.

    Also, this is a study on coverage. Usage patterns is another study altogether methinks and that’s where it starts to get real complex.

  4. johnkerrnz permalink*
    February 26, 2009 5:18 PM

    Good point David – I’ll reach out to my Edelman Digital China colleagues and see if that info is available – so much rich research out of mainland internet firms – I should learn how to read it?!?

  5. May 30, 2010 6:22 AM

    And also be aware that English does not always translate well into ANY other language let alone Chinese. And I can confirm that Qzone is much more popular, but not so much better than facebook. Of course it’s going to have more users since it’s tied into their IM software. I’ve been using it since it started, so it had a big head start over FB and others to gain users. While FB was still for college only in 2005, Qzone was staggered out to everyone. I think by now I’ve got over 300-1000 guestbook comments from other users/friends.

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