By Mikal E. Belicove|For Entrepreneur.com|December 17, 2010
It should come as no surprise that social networking has rocketed in the United States — the country where it all began (thanks, eBay). What is surprising to some, however, is how widespread the use of social networking sites and platforms has become on a global scale. Did you know, for instance, that of Facebook’s reported 500 million-plus registered users, 70 percent live outside the United States?
In fact, a survey released this week by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project goes so far as to call social networking “a global phenomenon.” The survey, conducted last spring, shows that people all over the world are using the Internet for social networking. The poll included respondents from 22 nations representing a broad range of socio-economic development.
If you conduct business abroad and social media plays a role in your business-communication strategy, these figures should be discussed with anyone in your organization responsible for international sales and your marketing team.
In the U.S., of the 92 percent of Americans who say they go online, 46 percent claim to participate in social networking tasks, while 36 percent say they do not. Only 18 percent of those surveyed in the U.S. claim they never go online.
The nations that come closest to matching the United States in terms of social networking are Poland and Britain with 43 percent and South Korea with 40 percent usage.
And at least one third of the survey-takers in France (36 percent), Spain (34 percent), Russia (33 percent) and Brazil (33 percent) engage in social networking. Germans and Argentineans follow, with 31 percent. It is at this point where social networking slips dramatically into the 20-percentile range, with figures showing Turkey at 26 percent; Japan and Jordan with 24 percent and China and Mexico rounding out with 23 percent.
Not surprisingly, the use of social networking is a rarity in many less-developed nations. That is because many of these nations don’t…
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