Social Networks’ Popularity As Determined By Search

    August 12, 2008

MySpace is on top in the U.S., Facebook follows, and so on; we’re all familiar with the usual social network rankings.  But here’s some interesting news: Orkut seems better suited to Iran than America.  And Facebook, while successful here, should consider relocating its headquarters to Turkey.  Or so imply some new stats, anyway.

Using Google Insights for Search, Pingdom took a look at where social networks are popular search terms.  MySpace did best in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Australia, the U.K., and Malaysia.  It’s decidedly weak in Africa and most of Asia.

Case Leaves Blogger
 Graph: MySpace Search Volume Index
(Graph Credit:

Facebook, meanwhile, managed to receive the most attention from search in Turkey, Canada, the U.K., South Africa, and Columbia.  This could reflect either its efforts to expand internationally or some habit its U.S. users have of just going straight to the site.

As for old Orkut, it seems that Google is experiencing no luck with its social network in Africa and little in North America.  Brazil, Paraguay, India, Pakistan, and Portugal are the countries where searches for it occur most often, with the Royal Pingdom blog noting, "Orkut is more popular in Iran (10th country popularity-wise) than it is in the United States."

These statistics are the sort of thing that corporate execs study with great interest.  Expect social networks to tailor their expansions accordingly, and possibly even test advertising innovations in the smaller, more loyal-looking markets before going full-scale.