The beginning of August saw Google announcing that Google+ now has more than 25 million users (though the activity declines). It is too soon to tell whether Google+ will be a serious contender, but since it is a Google product, it has a good chance of succeeding.
In light of Google’s success, it is interesting to see how the other players are doing. And in particular, how is Facebook doing in The Netherlands?
Facebook vs. Hyves
The Netherlands have always been a bit off when it comes to the Internet. Ebay thought it could continue its winning streak and easily become the biggest online shop for secondhand items. But we are stubborn, and if it ain’t broken, why fix it. So Marktplaats, the Dutch equivalent of Ebay, couldn’t be defeated and Ebay eventually just gave up….and bought Marktplaats.
And here in The Netherlands we have Hyves. With a long history and almost 11 million users, of which 9 million are Dutch. And that is massive, considering our little country only has 16,8 million inhabitants.
But Facebook has been gaining ground here, with its Like-button and its more adult look (Hyves does seem a bit childish in comparison). Interestingly, although Facebook is by far the largest social network and dominant in our Western society, recent reports however show that Facebook still hasn’t been able to defeat Hyves. While it is a bit difficult to compare stats, Hyves still has more monthly active users (about 700.000 more).
Facebook does have more users who are between 25 and 35 years old. Hyves is more popular among teenagers and adults (15 – 24 years old). Also, Facebook attracts more female users and Hyves has more male users.
Will Facebook conquer The Netherlands?
The big question is: can Facebook be the dominant social network in The Netherlands. Hyves is certainly putting up a big fight, but Facebook is closing in really fast. Hyves is putting up a big fight, adopting features that Facebook has (like online games, share buttons, etc.), but its user base is shifting.
As said, Hyves does have a less adult look, and the majority of the (young) adults seem to have migrated to Facebook. I personally don’t know anyone older than 16 that is still using Hyves, but there is no denying that Hyves still has a massive amount of users. Children and young teens are still using Hyves and will so for quite a while. But the migration has begun, and I feel that it is only a matter of time before Hyves will see more users closing their accounts.
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