Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Geography Of Internet Popularity: Popular Sites On A World Map

My Blog Post for Ministers of Design

Researchers Mark Graham and Stefano De Stabbata, at the Oxford Internet Institute, mapped the most visited sites in different parts of the world. The map shows each nation’s most popular website, with size of the nations modified to reflect the number of Internet users there. Google's domination is almost universal, reigning in North America, Europe, and parts of South Asia. Facebook, the world’s most popular site, is most popular in North Africa, parts of the Middle East, and the Pacific coast of South America. Yet, even in those countries, Google still retains the second spot. As De Stabbata and Graham explain, "Among the 50 countries that have Facebook listed as the most visited visited website, 36 of them have Google as the second most visited, and the remaining 14 countries list YouTube (currently owned by Google)."

Baidu domines China and some neighboring countries. Noteworthy, Yahoo is top in Japan and Taiwan, perhaps in part to its longstanding partnership with Japan's SoftBank and its purchase of Wretch, the Taiwanese social media site, which Yahoo is shutting down at the end of this year.
Yandex, a search engine, is Russia’s most popular site.
The countries where Google is the most visited website account for half of the entire Internet population, with over one billion people. Thanks to the large Internet population of China and South Korea (more than half a billion users), Baidu is second in this rank, and Facebook, with 280 million users, places third.
DeStabbata and Graham suggest that "the territories carved out now will have important implications for which companies end up controlling how we communicate and access information for many years to come."

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