With social media sites and applications booming like crazy for the past five years, why are people so dedicated with containing it within the United States? The statistics have proven themselves time and time again that the chances of success outside the border or America is so vastly higher rather than inside the walls (Jon Swartz). What are some of the reasons that attribute to this fact?
First, I feel that with so many people slugging it out here, it only makes sense that very few actually have a shot of survival. Take sports for example. Almost everyone plays some kind of sport when they are little; football, basketball, soccer. Let’s take basketball and break that down into high-school. How many does that cut, half of all the kids playing? And now college? Let’s skip to the NBA. Of all of the kids that chose to play basketball we’re looking at less than a 1% rate of making it to the top. But open that up to the international field, and it gives more opportunities. Open up more venues (sports) and suddenly we have a lot more chances to make it to the top. These ‘littler’ companies like Mixi and Hi5 have got the game down. Sure, they aren’t going to be Facebook but let’s face it, who is? So what they are doing is getting other markets, who by the way, are much larger than the American market.
“When you look at Internet use globally, the U.S. is a small but significant chunk. It’s also beginning to plateau in terms of growth.” says Marissa Gluck, an analyst at Radar Research. Therefore, size matters more than density. Almost every American has a device of sorts attached to them almost anywhere they go. Right? Don’t you? My phone is currently next to me with my laptop and iPad nearby. We’re connected. We all are. But if our over population is so much smaller than the foreign markets, they only have more and more potential customers. Eventually, we’re going to get settled in our ways. New applications and programs will come and go but the essentials will stay essential. The likes soon become needs and were hooked. But what about all those overseas that don’t have all these devices…yet. Just a few years ago it was a 69% increase in the Middle East and Africa of social networking users. I would venture to say they still have much room to grow and expand. What does that mean?
That means companies like SUP/Live Journal have a fighting chance. They might not be Facebook or LinkedIn but they are working their way to it. Finding your own market (country/continent) seems to be half the battle. Something that works great here might be a complete bust elsewhere and vice versa. Take Google as an example. Looking at Alexa.com gives us a great idea about just how powerful Google is but then look at a huge market like China where Google is nothing. It doesn’t work there but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t here or that something else won’t work there (Baidu.com). “About 80% of the world’s estimated 1.2 billion Internet users are outside the USA” which is a staggering figure (Jon Swartz). These kind of numbers should be weighed heavily on by upcoming e-ntrepreneurs.