Italian digital strategist Vincenzo Cosenza has just published the December 2011 edition of his World Map of Social Networks. Facebook's almost 1 billion users mean the social networking giant has secured the number one spot in 127 countries out of the total 136 countries he tracks.
By looking at the Facebook Ads Platform, Cosenza found Europe is the largest Facebook continent with 223 million users, followed by North America (219 million) and Asia (202 million users). Cosenza also found the most popular social networks in all the countries by compiling data from Alexa and Google Trends for Websites. He then created the above animated map, which demonstrates the world's largest social network isn't just growing: it's quickly grabbing first place from opposing competition.
As his animated map shows, over the last few years Facebook has cut down the number of top social networks around the world from 17 to just six. More specifically, there were 17 in June 2009, 16 in December 2009, 14 in June 2010, 11 in December 2010, nine in June 2011, and six in December 2011. Here are the remaining six: Facebook, QZone, V Kontakte, Odnoklassniki, Drauglem, and Zing.
Between June 2011 and December 2011, Facebook managed to conquer Netherlands, and with it the whole Europe, Brazil, after a long struggle to overtake Google's Orkut, as well as Japan (although a large part of Japanese networking activities are on mobile, including Gree, Mobage, and Mixi).
If you remember that Facebook is still banned in many countries, such as China (the world's largest Internet population with 500 million people), the service's dominance is certainly impressive. If this trend continues, it won't be long before the social network is king in all the countries it can be accessed in.