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Latest research from WebCertain asks ‘Is Facebook a global player’?

New research by multilingual search experts, WebCertain, which will be revealed in full at its International Search Summit next month has looked at social networking throughout the world and assessed whether Facebook can establish itself as a true global player. The presentation at the summit will reveal in which countries Facebook is most popular and enable marketers to learn from its mistakes and successes when targeting new markets themselves.International Search Summit

The research set out to examine the current status of social networking in a variety of countries from established economies in the west such as France and Germany to some of the emerging markets, including Russia, China and Mexico. Its task was to evaluate the success of Facebook compared with local social networks. Specifically, it posed the questions: can Facebook’s success in the English-speaking world be replicated globally; and if not, what would it need to do to improve its global presence and prospects?

The full research will be presented by Anne Kennedy, founder and Managing Partner of search agency, Beyond Ink, at the International Search Summit on 20th November at the British Library, London. However, WebCertain has revealed some of the findings ahead of the summit. As expected, the research shows that social networking is extremely popular throughout the world with the number of users continuing to grow at a fast rate both on local and global sites.
The findings also reveal some surprising facts, for example, despite there being no Arabic version, Egypt is the fifth biggest user of Facebook after the US, Canada and the UK and it is very popular across the whole Arabic speaking world. It indicates that Facebook is making progress in new markets with the site now available in 23 languages, and there are strong signs of growth in Latin America with the introduction of a Spanish version.

The research examines in detail in which countries Facebook is most popular; and where it is not in prime position, how far it is behind the leaders. The specific results, along with the likely reasons for Facebook’s status around the world will be discussed at the summit.

“This latest research has revealed some interesting trends with Facebook struggling to cope with language and cultural differences whilst facing strong competition from local sites,” explains Andy Atkins- Krüger, Managing Director of WebCertain. “For example, many of Facebook’s language translations are inaccurate, thus grammar mistakes on the French site make it seem ‘un-French’. Furthermore, although the main site is translated, many of the applications aren’t; and non-English speakers have the problem that many Facebook terms simply cannot be translated such as the name ‘Facebook’!

”The full research will be available in the form of a White Paper to be issued at the International Search Summit in November. However, the findings so far point towards an important lesson – an English-speaking entity such as Facebook can only become a strong global player if it innovates and makes itself culturally appropriate to the different markets it is targeting.”

Hosted by UK-based WebCertain, the International Search Summit will bring together some of the leading authorities on search from around the world who will address the issues facing online marketers when dealing with content that crosses multiple countries, cultures and languages. To book your place at the International Search Summit, visit

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