Facebook sees mixed results in Asia

26 May 2010

NEW DELHI: Facebook, the world's biggest social network, is enjoying mixed results as it seeks to penetrate some of the most important markets in Asia.

Forrester, the research firm, conducted a survey of 5,757 netizens in Asia Pacific in an effort to establish which social media sites they accessed with the greatest frequency.

Overall, the company reported that Facebook – which boasts an active global membership of more than 400 million people – had seen usage levels rise to 50% in some of the largest cities in India.

This compared with the total of 58% posted by Orkut, which is owned by Google and has long been the number one social media platform in the country.

Facebook is not the only social network that appears to be gaining ground in India, with Twitter, the microblogging portal, also having registered impressive growth since the start of 2010.

In contrast, Forrester found that just 4% of the online population in South Korea are regular visitors to Facebook.

This left the US property considerably behind Cyworld, which delivered a score 67% and has pioneered a range of revenue-generating tools, such as selling virtual goods using micropayment models.

Facebook's position was even less favourable in Japan, where 2% of Forrester's respondents logged on to its pages on at least a monthly basis.

Mixi, the leading player in the country, recorded a figure of just 27%, thus indicating that habits are considerably more fragmented in the country than is the case elsewhere.

Other popular services in Japan include Gree and Mobage Town, a social network solely for mobile phones, while Facebook's rivals like MySpace and Twitter have also tended to struggle.

Data sourced from Forrester; additional content by Warc staff