China has 162 million Internet subscribers – 12.3% of the total population of China, but over 50% of the total population of the U.S. And as Internet connectivity and use in China is growing, so too is China’s influence over the Internet.
Brazilians are passionate about the Internet, and all the social media applications the Internet has made possible. Internet use and social media are pervading a wide range of aspects of life in Brazil, such that even those who do not have Internet access or choose not to participate in social media are frequently aware that the Internet and all its related applications are being inextricably integrated into Brazil’s social fabric.
Kenya provides a great individual case study of the African blogosphere, as there has been a lot happening there in terms of developing Internet access and localized Kenyan content in 2007. Despite halting progress, The Kenyan government is working on securing more widespread Internet access through an undersea fiberoptic cable, and has received money from the World Bank to facilitate this connection (Duncan, are there any more details you can provide?)
South Africa seems to have a ton of social networking services – see Uno de Waal’s blog post listing some of them. Yet aside from South Africa, I only know of one other African-born social network, mykenyanspace.com, and even this network is not actually hosted in Kenya. Apparently it is hosted in the U.S.
Did you know that Americans do not have the largest social networking communities in the world? According to market research by Ipsos, America comes in fifth place in terms of number of people connected to a social network – South Korea comes in first. According to Ipsos,
There’s been an ongoing discussion about whether social networking is a passing fad or a form of connection that is here to stay – and if it is here to stay, how pervasive or inconsequential it will be, and what it will look like as social networking applications continue to develop and reinvent themselves.