Yes, a few social media sites have dominated (and continue to dominate) the social networking industry. If you want to connect with people around the world, Facebook is still your best option. With MySpace having seemingly lost the battle for Web 2.0 supremacy, there is really no challenger to Facebook. That is the case in most parts of the world. However, outside of the US, some different social media sites enjoy wide usage and have social features that make them great for interacting with other people around the globe.
If you want your social media experience to be truly international, then these sites are interesting options for you.
This site was founded in Belgium. It is a truly multilingual social media site, with almost every major language in the world represented. Users can interact with other users, share information, pictures, videos and music playlists, and send updates to their friends. Because it is worldwide, Netlog uses software to help users localize their pages so that they can easily connect with people in their own area or country and can also contact people who speak the same language as they do.
Hi5 is another social network site that has a Facebook-like interface. Hi5 is now owned by the website Tagged. Users can participate in groups, post photos and send updates to their friends, just like on other social networking sites. Hi5 is one of 50 highest ranked sites, in terms of traffic, in the world, but it is not one of the top 50 sites in the US. This site is much more-popular in Asia and Latin America than it is in the US. So if you want to socialize with people around the world, then this is a good option, but if you live in the US and you want to connect with people close to home, it might not be your best bet.
Want to use an international social media site, but don’t want to deal with any language barriers? Then perhaps a photo sharing site is a good option. You can share photos on Flickr, but another option is Fotolog. This site is based in the US, but most of its users come from Latin America. Fotolog is no small upstart. It boasts thirty million participants. In addition to seeing great photos by amateur photographers, there are photo blogs dedicated to certain subjects (such as celebrities and different genres of movies).
Youku and Todou
You’ve heard a lot about China as a rising force in global culture. Well, you can see what all the buzz is about on the video sharing sites Tudou and Youku (which recently merged into one entity). No, you probably won’t be able to socialize much without a knowledge of Chinese (though you could make an attempt with tools like Google Translate), but it is certainly a worthwhile social site to check into, especially if you rank your social networks by the amount of users that they have.
Popular in Europe and Latin America, Badoo is a multilingual site that gets nearly 50 million unique views each month (there are over 150 million registered users overall). So again, if you want a site with truly worldwide appeal and a wide range of users, then this is a good option for you (it is considered the fourth largest social networking site in the world in terms of number of users). Badoo bills itself as a “social discovery site,” a site that is not focused on networking, but rather on meeting new people. For this reason, the site has the feel of a social dating site, though plenty of people interested in making non-romantic connections are also active on Badoo.