Local social networks suffer big declines in Europe

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Jason Mander / January 22, 2014

In our last few posts, we’ve looked at a number of global trends within the social media landscape. Today we want to get a bit more localized – tracking how a number of European platforms have fared in the last six months.

What’s strikingly clear from the figures is that – while small declines in Facebook’s active usage have attracted huge attention – it’s the local networks across the continent that have really been suffering.

Between Q2 and Q4 2013, there’s a consistent story of decline across all of the market-specific networks we track. Dutch platform Hyves fared the worst, with a 68% decline in the estimated number of active users (no doubt caused by its transformation into a gaming rather than social site). Elsewhere, Tuenti in Spain and MeinVZ in Germany both saw drops of more than 50%, while France’s Copains d’Avant and Poland’s Nasza-Klasa also recorded significant falls. Russia’s Odnoklassniki and vKontake did somewhat better but still experienced small decreases.

So, apart from Hyves changing its focus, what’s happening here? It’s these smaller networks which are struggling the most to compete with the reach of the major international platforms, as well as losing out to fast-rising apps and messenger services. They’re just not as appealing to the online audience as they once were – and it’s a trend we expect to see continuing in the coming months.

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