In an interesting article on Mashable, Mike Laurie lists the ways social networking has changed us. The recent events in Egypt have also reinforced this clear message: social networking is here to stay and will continue to change the way we interact on a personal and professional level.
How does social networking fare in Asia, and in India in particular? A study by Comscore (excluding China) shows that over 50% of the total online population in the Asia-Pacific region (240.3 million) visited a social networking site in Feb 2010. And while you may think of India as leading the pack, it was the Philippines that headed the fray, followed by Australia and Indonesia.
Indians are master networkers and have been so for centuries, but their embrace of online techniques has been relatively modest so far. The many local networking sites that have sprung up are already a testimonial to the local appetite. Some of the popular India-based social networks include bigadda, ibibo, fropper, desimartini and rediff social.
On an international level, Google’s Orkut and Facebook are competing in India. While for a long while, Orkut seemed to have gained the upper hand, recent Alexa listings show that Facebook is the fourth most visited site in India after Google.co.in, Google.com and Yahoo. Where will it go from here? As more and more mobile phone companies enter the market with the latest offerings, I believe social networking in India will grow stronger, as businesses continue to experiment with how networking sites can expand their offerings on a more localized level.