Facebook Poked Aside in Asia Pacific

* Only 7.1% of Facebook customers are from Asia-Pacific.

* Singapore ranked 10th in Facebook penetration by nation.

* Cause: language barriers, Friendster’s early penetration, competitors from localised web sites and Facebook’s heavy bandwidth concerns and a somewhat complex interface.

* Asians prefer neighborhood social network websites like Cyworld, Orkut, Mixi and Xiaonei which cater to their demands much better.

It is effortless to assume that this world is universal, and that this universality extends to our usage of social networking websites since it seems like the complete planet is on Facebook. This is specially so when Singaporeans been rapid to embrace it, ranking Singapore 10th in Facebook country penetration.

However, despite its good results in Singapore, the rest of Asia hasn’t followed on. A report from comScore has shown that Facebook is far from conquering Asia with a shocking only 7.1% of Facebook users coming from Asia-Pacific.

This impeded inception can perhaps be attributed to a variety of factors – language barriers, competition from localised internet sites and Facebook’s heavy bandwidth issues and a somewhat difficult interface.

Alternatively, sites like hi5, Orkut, Yahoo! 360, Xanga, Mixi, Friendster, Cyworld and Xiaonei are taking the distinct nations in Asia by storm. These local sites are much better able to cater to the markets they serve as they know the nation properly. For instance, the Japanese take delight in displaying their individualistic side by dressing their Mixi profiles with customised skins and avatars, even though Yahoo! 360 permits users to weblog, and as a result meeting the requirements of Vietnamese users. Possibly the strongest contender is Friendster, marking its gradual shift from the US market place to firmly dominate Asia Pacific with a vast majority of its members now from this continent.

In Thailand, exactly where the usage of English is rather restricted, Hi5 attributes its popularity to the fact that it provides Thai as a language. Naturally, they are comfortable sticking to Hi5 and this has impeded the development of Facebook.

The Vietnamese, who are big on blogging, much choose Yahoo! 360 to Facebook as the former has a blogging function, creating it the top choice.

Facebook cannot fight with Friendster when practically 40% of Friendster customers come from the Philippines. In a wise move, Friendster introduced a mobile version to counter the low internet usage in the country, permitting users to use a chat application on their mobile phones with the Mobile Broadcast Program. This most likely accounts for the very higher percentage of Friendster customers.

All in all, with Facebook only coming up as the favourite social networking internet site in only two out of eleven nations, this shows that it has but to obtain a important vital mass in Southeast Asia. In one more study by comScore, a startling figure shows the lack of interest in Facebook – only 7.1% of Facebook’s visitors come from the Asia-Pacific region.

Despite the fact that Facebook hasn’t managed to emulate the accomplishment it has enjoyed elsewhere, it is quite gradually selecting up popularity in this area. And, no matter whether Facebook will take the work to comprehend the markets here in its bid to penetrate the Asian industry remains a extremely anticipated move.
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