list of non-english social network sites

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by: Danah Boyd

I'm trying to track down a list of all major non-English social network sites (definitions below). My interest in collecting this information is for an academic article on social network sites, but i suspect this information would be useful to others as well.

Cyworld: Korean
– launched 1999 as a forum, SNS by 2001
– 20 million accounts (Nov 2006)

Hevre: Hebrew

Lunarstorm: Swedish
– launched 2000
– 1.2 million accounts (Nov 2005)

Mixi: Japanese
– launched 2004 as a diary tool, SNS ?
– ?5.7 million accounts (2004)

StudiVZ: German
– launched in Oct 2005
– 950,000 accounts (Nov 2006)

QQ: Chinese
– launched 1999 as IM, SNS ?
– ?160? million accounts

If you know of ones that i'm missing, could you please add them in the comments? I will update this entry with additions. Ideally, i would also like to know a few things about each non-English site (including the ones above):

  • What do they call "Friends" (both natively and English-translation)?
  • Do they allow people to comment on the profile?
  • When were they launched?
  • Approximately how many accounts do they have?
  • What is the primary age group that uses it?
  • Is there anything significant or unique about the site?


Major: I am looking for the sites that have attracted a core population in that language. They should be relatively large in proportion to the number of speakers of that language. Think MySpace instead of Tagged.

Non-English: I realize that most sites are used by non-English speakers. I'm looking for sites that are dominant in one language where the site's infrastructure is in that language. If there are multiple languages, i want the dominant one (i.e. Cyworld as Korean not Chinese). Sites like orkut are on the fence because while it is an English site, it is the dominant Portuguese site.

Social Network Site: To count as a social network site, the site MUST have 1) a public or friends-only profile system; 2) a publicly articulated list of "Friends" who are also on the system (not blogrolls). Friends must be visible on an individual's profile and it must be possible to traverse the network graph through that list of Friends. If the site does not let you "comment" on Friends' profiles, please indicate that. This is not necessary although it is a common component. I'm not interested in dating sites, community sites, or blogging tools that do not have public profile + friends that are displayed on profiles.

If you have a site that you think fits this, please list it in the comments. The more information you can provide about the site (including links to data but not to the site), the better. I need to confirm these and it's rather hard since i don't speak most languages. Please don't put the site as the URL in your comment – place the name in the actual comment.

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