Series on Germany, post #3
Social networks have become a better indicator for social media activities than any other particular tool, since users increasingly tend to aggregate many of their activities such as blogging or video sharing on their social network. That’s one of the more important insights in Universal McCann’s latest report.
According to their latest Social Media Tracker, the number of German active internet users managing a social network profile is at 11.5 m. That’s rank 6 worldwide, three ranks lower than Germany’s total number of active users, but still pretty high:
- China: 111 m
- US: 57.8 m
- Brazil: 15.6 m
- UK: 12.1 m
- Korea: 11.9 m
- Germany: 11.5 m
- France and Japan: 10.2 m
- India: 9.6 m
Importance of local networks
It is worth noting, that local networks play a big role in Germany. When Facebook entered the market, local players had a pretty significant head start. In particular “Wer-kennt-wen” (translated “Who-knows-whom”), a network for the mainstream audience now owned by TV network RTL, and studiVZ, a student network now owned by publisher Holtzbrinck, had attracted millions of users. It probably didn’t help that Facebook sued studiVZ in a US court alleging it was just a local clone of Facebook. It probably did help, though, that Facebook was faster with innovation and new functionalities for users. Holger Schmidt reported how Facebook managed to grow its reach by 50 % in an impressive run-up between March and July 2009 and finally take the lead in the German market (see exhibit 1).
The situation is different when it comes to professional networks. With a unique audience of 3.56 m, local leader Xing is eight times bigger than global leader LinkedIn, and Xing is still growing whereas LinkedIn stays flat (see exhibit 2). Twitter doesn’t have a local competitor in Germany. While it’s still on a low level compared to the US, it enjoyed significant growth in 2009. Nielsen found that its reach increased from nearly 1.2 m to just under 2 m between March and July 2009 (see exhibit 3). Of course, there is a difference between reach and active users. Thomas Pfeiffer calculated that Twitter had approx. 28.000 active German users back in March, 145.000 in July. That is rapid growth, albeit on a low level.
See also related posts:
- Only China and the US have more active internet users than Germany (series on Germany, post #1)
- Germans were late to social media but caught up in 2007/2008 (series on Germany, post #2)