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Summary:

MySpace plans to launch a site in Germany this summer, looking to move into one of the biggest Internet markets in Europe. But the company will face local entrenched players when it arrives. German users say that Lokalisten holds the title of the “MySpace of Germany” […]

MySpace plans to launch a site in Germany this summer, looking to move into one of the biggest Internet markets in Europe. But the company will face local entrenched players when it arrives. German users say that Lokalisten holds the title of the “MySpace of Germany” and has been bringing in an increasing amount of users. According to Nielsen Netratings the site had less than 150,000 unique users in the month of June, so that’s still a small market. But the German social network market is just starting to take off, and Lokalisten is one of the emerging leaders.

According to Alexa stats Lokalisten increased its reach by 115% over the past 3 months, with 22.9 page views per visit. If this Lokalisten blogspot site is to be believed, the site is bringing in up to 3,600 concurrent users at a time on an average afternoon, and is upgrading its server system to stay ahold of the traffic.

Nielsen Netratings sent us some data about German online community sites–which includes a broader list of social-oriented web sites than just social networks–and the market includes 15 million users. The top German community sites were Wer-weiss-was, Windows Live, Yahoo Geocities, and Knuddels.de. With so many German Internet users participating in “community sites,” it could be a pretty good indicator of how big German social networks sites could grow.

Like the growing popularity of social networks in the U.S. and the U.K., Germany will likely see an influx of new users and emerging start-ups looking to develop the relatively untapped market in the coming months. If you’re an avid Lokalisten user, or use other German social network sites, let us know!

  1. Björn Ognibeni Friday, July 21, 2006

    Well, I am from Germany and I am following the social networking scene here rather closely. But I have never heard about these Lokalisten before. Looks like they are (still?) just a local phenomenon down in South Germany, especially Munich. As far as I can see it, there still is no real German MySpace – although everybody is waiting for it!! In the business networking arena, there is a clear front runner – http://www.openbc.com – with more over 1 million members.

    Btw, if a Lokalist reads this and wants to invite me, go ahead. I really would like to test drive out your site…

  2. Juhani Polkko Friday, July 21, 2006

    There’s seems to be a local “myspace” in most European countries. In Finland it’s called http://www.irc-galleria.net – 348,000 registered users and 3 million visits in a month (not impressions) – not bad for a such a small country.

    They also have a full mobile version of the site at wap.irc-galleria.net – they are charging 40 eurocents per profile view! Waiting for Third Screen Media or another mobile web ad solution to raise in Europe too…

  3. Juhani Polkko Friday, July 21, 2006

    BTW, it’s be interesting to see if these smaller company will soon be acquisition targets for Myspace et al., as otherwise they will have to take the looong route localizing. Windows Live Spaces (or what ever MSN calls itself now) is way ahead in that sence.

  4. Truth once they get big enough to get aquisitioned they will lose all appeal just like myspace.

    http://www.cafepress.com/urbangrenade

  5. As Juhani stated their seem to be many localized social networks in Europe with strong followings, http://www.lunarstorm.se has 1.2M users = 10% of sweden’s population.

    I believe that the mobile social community space will also see some growth surge in the next 12 months. The mobile user is clearly a business model winner for value added services such as SMS and content plus the potential of mobile advertising.

    I think Cyworld will be making a move into Europe at some stage soon and I expect they will be looking to emulate their success at home (17M users). Another new entrant to the market showing positive signs : http://www.zedge.net, 2.6M users according to its front page.

    My view would be to grow the mobile elements in Myspace before considering localisation, much more lucrative revenue potential to Rupert’s investment. Also localisation is not just changing the language, it’s understanding the cultures within each country as well, this could cost much time and investment for them.

    It may surprise you, but Germany has a population of over 2.1M Turkish people, as well as over 5M other nationalities. Will these be covered in the Myspace target for the German market?

  6. so i guess if we’re surveying social networking sites around the world, you should review Mixi in Japan.

    pete cashmore did a brief summary on mashable recently, and richard macmanus covered mixi along with several other japanese sites on read write web.

    (whoops, sorry that was actually PingMag that richard summarized on RWW)

    • dmc
  7. Debra Macking Monday, July 24, 2006

    Its not yet in German but if someone with language expertise…

    http://www.apbctr.com – a new networking site that is more focused on community than popularity.

    APBctr.com is a networking community, but more than that. The goal is to promote a deeper sense of community. APBctr.com seeks to network people who are ‘close’ to each other, either through location, college, or academic interests. The goal is for a site with purpose, with members who are seeking to get to know others, to learn, to grow, to expand their horizons. The site is meant to inspire people, to help dreams get reached, to help create a better world that may not be perfect but is in a state of forward motion, of achieving. To bring out the “old-time neighborhood in the new-time world”.

    APBctr.com features include but are not limited to:
    * Profiles to tell the world about yourself
    * A photo gallery to display pictures
    * Journal to express your thoughts and ideas
    * Internal message system for users to contact each other
    * A forum system for users to discuss topics
    * A favorites list for users, locations and forums
    * A way for local businesses and organizations to advertise to their local audience
    * Tables to show off your collections of music, movies and books.
    * A system to search for users, as well as searching the various collections of music, movies and books that users may have listed for trade or sale.

    Three other sections that are being developed and an important part of the site are:
    Environment Issues: http://www.apbctr.com/extra/environment.php
    Ideological Systems: http://www.apbctr.com/extra/ideological.php
    Giving/Volunteering: http://www.apbctr.com/extra/giving.php

  8. Chris Hitchen Monday, July 24, 2006

    I’m an avid lokalisten user and although I live in Munich where the majority of their audience comes from, I know it’s expanded to other cities throughout Germany as well and is taking off there. It’s a real phenomenon and has become a talking-point at parties, cafes and uni’s around Munich (if not Germany) and it’s not unusual to hear of “lokalisten love stories”! The founders helped this buzz by keeping their identities secret.

    The audience seems to have dropped from late twenties, when the service began, to late teens / early twenties. This is of course a key demographic for many advertisers (e.g. MTV), so one presumes it won’t be long before some form of ads are introduced to the site. Mobile will be key to their success (combine location-based services with premium sms as a revenue source – voting, downloads etc.) but the exciting thing for lokalisten is that they can still develop the site so much and have grown this audience without any promotion and minimal cost.

  9. It seems many counties have their own social network: Orkut seems to be a success in Brazil and here in the Netherlands we have Hyves that has now 2 million members, of which I’d guess some 1 million Dutch. That’s quite large on a population of ‘only’ 16 million. I don’t know their viewing numbers, but I’d guess they are pretty big.
    So by comparison, the Lokalisten thing seems pretty small to me (as Germany has some 82 million inhabitants).

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