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Immanuel Simonsen

12 International Search and Social Scoops To Blow Your Mind

The Global Search and Social Report 2013

So here’s the deal.

Search and social media are huge. Each has unequivocally changed the consumer landscape in its own right, effectively putting an end to business as usual. And since both have evolved into global phenomena, this certainly holds true irrespective of the geographic location of the market(s) in which you operate. But you already know that of course.

From an international perspective, the question therefore isn’t whether these are important but rather how important? Moreover, do these categories by and large boil down to almighty Google and Facebook? 

Here are 12 fascinating (we certainly think so) international search and social media scoops from the just published Webcertain Global Search and Social Report — covering the state of search and social in 32 individual markets and available as a free download.

1. More than a quarter of the world’s online population log onto Facebook EVERY day

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past many years, it shouldn’t come as a shock to you that Facebook is the undisputed social kingpin on the global web. Its scale however, still manages to astonish.

According to Facebook’s Q3 Earnings Slides, it now has 1.19 billion monthly active users, a huge increase from the ‘magic billion’ a year ago. Facebook’s biggest asset, though, isn’t the absolute size of its user base but rather the incredible ‘stickiness’ of its network. A firm testament to this is the fact that a staggering 728 million users accessed Facebook daily during the third quarter of this year, with more than half a billion of those daily visits coming from mobile devices. And with an estimated 2.4 billion internet users globally, this effectively means that more than 1 in 4 netizens log onto Facebook EVERY SINGLE DAY.

2. Brazil is the world’s by far most socially engaged nation

Spending an average of 13.8 hours per month on social media, Brazil’s internet population is showing greater affinity for the category than any other country on earth. The global average, by comparison, is 5.8 hours (comScore).


3. Yandex is the world’s fourth largest search engine, now bigger than Bing
Yandex has been able to capitalise on the aggressive momentum of the digital market in its native Russia as it continues to keep Google at bay in the country. The online sphere there keeps growing at an unprecedented pace, and so does Yandex, having surpassed Microsoft’s Bing as the world’s fourth largest search engine (comScore qSearch).

4. Google holds a 71% share of the global search market; Baidu captures 16.5% 

Conventional wisdom suggests that Google holds around 85-90% share of the global search engine market. A tiny bit of math however, will quickly knock the legs out from under this common perception. While there are several reasons as to why it’s highly unlikely that Google accounts for up to 9 in every 10 searches conducted globally, one in particular stands out: the global search leader barely has a presence in the world’s by far largest internet market, China.

And the online market there is truly massive. I mean, mind-boggling huge. Did I mention that China is kind of a big deal? Well, you don’t have to take my word for it.The most recent estimates put the country’s internet population at a staggering 600 million, meaning that 1 in 4 people online are Chinese. That’s right, 25%! In this light, Baidu’s 16.5% market share of the global search market – despite only having a strong presence in a single country – is perhaps not so difficult to grasp, nor is the logic behind Google’s 71% market share estimation.

5. Central and Eastern Europe’s social audience set to outstrip that of North America next year

The trend is unmistakable: emerging and developing regions will be the main drivers of digital growth for the foreseeable future, including when it comes to social media adoption. While the Asia-Pacific region, already more than three times the size of Latin America in second place, will go on to account for an ever-larger share of social media users worldwide, the social audience in Central and Eastern Europe is predicted to outstrip that of North America at some point next year (eMarketer).

6. Incredible climb of 360 Search sees it surge above 20% market share in China 

Despite Baidu’s sizeable global market share and status as the world’s second largest search engine, the past year has actually been anything but desirable for the company. 360 Search, a search engine launched in July 2012, has made truly spectacular gains since its market entry and has now soared above 20% market share in China.


7. Twitter now has 215 million active monthly users globally; LinkedIn 184 million 

In its S-1 filing prior to its recent IPO, Twitter stated that it now has 215 million active monthly users, more than 100 million of which access the site daily. LinkedIn is faring well, too, with the world’s top online destination for professional networking now boasting 184 million monthly active users, up a sizeable 74 million on a year ago, according to its Q3 2013 Earnings Slides.

8. VK attracts twice as many visitors as Facebook in Russia and crushes it in engagement. 

VK-newMuch in the same vein as Google trails Yandex, Facebook has found itself unable to get the better of local social Russian networks. Widely referred to as a ‘ Russian Facebook clone’, VK (formerly Vkontakte) attracts 38.5 million monthly unique visitors compared to Facebook’s 18.8 million. However, what truly sets the two apart is the time users spend on the sites, with the average VK user spending more than 9 hours monthly compared to a mere 52 minutes for the average Russian Facebook user. Additionally, local player Odnoklassniki likewise has a notable edge on the social juggernaut.

9. India’s online population is projected to explode from a current 139 million to 450 million…

…in less than three years. And even though internet penetration is still below 12% of the population, India is already Facebook’s second-largest market globally in terms of user numbers.

10. Ask.fm second most visited social property in Argentina; Top 5 in Brazil and Mexico as well.

Ever heard of Ask.fm? If you’re targeting Latin America and the answer is no, better you start familiarising yourself with the platform. The Latvian Q&A site with a social element to it has grown tremendously popular in the region, most noticeable in Argentina where it’s now ahead of both Twitter and LinkedIn in terms of monthly unique visitors.

11. Indonesia accounts for 6.4% of all tweets globally, behind only the US and Japan

A great many social networks are benefitting from the extreme social frenzy taking place in Indonesia – and Twitter is certainly one of them. A recent study into global Twitter usage found that Indonesia is the world’s third biggest Twitter market by number of tweets, ahead of huge online markets like the UK and Brazil.

12. 60.1% of Facebook users are now outside of North America and Europe. Yet, these regions only account for 27% of Facebook’s advertising revenue. 

Facebook continues to grow like a wildfire in emerging and developing regions, but its huge popularity in those territories has certainly yet to show in ad spend. It goes without saying that this marks spectacular opportunities for social advertisers while competition is still modest. And thus we conclude where we started – by looking at Facebook.

Oh, and just in case you haven’t done so already, why don’t you go ahead and grab yourself a free copy of our Global Search and Social Report covering 32 important global markets? You won’t regret it!

Download: Webcertain Global Search and Social Report 2013

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Immanuel Simonsen

Immanuel Simonsen

Research Manager at Webcertain
As the Research Manager of multilingual web marketing agency Webcertain, Immanuel heads up the company’s global market research activities and large content marketing projects. He is the author of several reports and guides, including ‘The Essential Guide to Rel-Alternate-Hreflang’ and ‘The Webcertain Global Search and Social Report 2013’. Apart from being a tutor at the International Marketing School -- teaching online marketing professionals on business opportunities around the globe -- Immanuel is a regular speaker at the International Search Summit, a leading event series dedicated to multilingual search and social media marketing.