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Online Communities As Countries

A fun look at how the web is taking over our world

By Jennifer Thorimbert We've been looking at this comic from XKCD today, and pondering how the web is changing relationships, and how large our social network "countries" are.  Here's a fun look at the numbers.  

Facebook 3rd Largest Country by Population

That's right - with 500 million active users, if Facebook were a country, it would be the 3rd largest in the world, behind China (1.3 billion) and India (1.2 billion), but ahead of the USA (310 million). This means that you could travel anywhere in the world, and you're more likely to meet a Facebook user than an American. Until April 2008, MySpace held the title of largest social network, and with today's MySpace user base of 66 million, it would rank as the 20th largest country by population, in between Thailand (67 million) and France (65 million). In 140 characters or less: Twitter has 100 million users & 750 tweets/second or 65 million tweets/day.  Twitter would be 12th largest country, behind Mexico.

Farmville vs. Farming

Maybe more surprising than the Facebook and MySpace stats are those of Farmville: the most-popular app on Facebook has 60.5 million users. Almost as many people are watering pretend corn crops than are on MySpace at all. Farmville would be the 22nd largest country, coming in just behind Italy. The International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP) represents more than 600 million farmers in 79 countries. (Are you keeping track? There are more farmers worldwide than Facebook users - good news for our food production.) However, the laugh sets in when you check out IFAP on Facebook. The group isn't web-savvy enough to have a FB page or even a group; IFAP is signed up as a person, and you have to request friendship to support them online. With 600 million IFAP members, it's sad to see they only have 879 friends (0.0000001% of their members). Meanwhile, almost 50% of Farmville users (24.5 million) have "Liked" their Fan page.

Mind Your P's and QQs

Wondering what the large QQ is on the bottom-right of the map? QQ is an instant-messaging program popular in China with more than 100 million users. Companies looking to reach a global, and particularly Chinese, market need to be aware of the popular websites and services unique to each region.

Get Your Business on the Map

How are you contacting your customers, and where do you look for new ones? If you're not on Facebook, and you're not Tweeting, you're missing out on potentially millions of opportunities. TV commercials, radio spots, and magazine ads still have their place, but if your business isn't on Facebook, many people won't come for a visit. Remember that when your business is on Facebook, and your customers become fans, they're sharing your information with their network, and their network's network. Start playing the Six Degrees of Separation, and soon you've reached 500 million users.

Where do I start?

Not sure how to start tweeting or the best way to connect on Facebook? Contact us today to put together a social media plan - including strategy, training, and your first month's posts - for your business.