Social networking more than twice as popular in South Korea

Thomas De Maesschalck

A new survey from Ipsos Insight shows that despite the huge success of American social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook, the U.S. only comes fifth in a social networking site ranking.The report indicates that about 55 percent of the South Korea’s regular Internet users accessed a social networking site in the last 30 days, in the U.S. this is only 24 percent. The numbers in Europe are even lower.South Korea took top honors by a wide margin, with Brazil, China, Mexico, and the US taking the next four spots. In South Korea, a single service (Cyworld) already has 18 million accounts—enough for 30 percent of the entire country’s population.

Social networking sites are “sticky,” too, as users keep coming back to check up on friends and acquaintances. According to Ipsos, more than two-thirds of all social networking users accessed such sites within the 30-day study period.
Brian Cruikshank, an executive vice president at Ipsos, said in a statement that this stickiness could have a cost for other Internet services. “What will be interesting to monitor is the affect social networking will have on other online and offline entertainment behaviors that ultimately compete for a share of the consumer’s disposable time,” he said. “We have already seen some effects of social networking cannibalizing other online activities in some markets.”

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