Facebook has 2.23 billion monthly active users, YouTube has 1.9 billion, WhatsApp has 1.9 billion, and WeChat has 1.06 billion. All of these are blocked by the Chinese government except for the Chineses owned WeChat. Most non-Chineses social networks are blocked within China. This creates all sorts of interesting divisions with how people outside of China interact social media vs those in China.
Recently there has been a lot of talk in the news about banning the Chinese owned social network TikTok, by companies and/or governments that are not politically aligned with China. There are all sorts of reasons why this is happening and they get complicated quickly. However, I think there is a good chance that these will be resolved and TikTok will become even more popular over the next few years.
All major foreign social networks are banned within China, however, Chineses social networks are not generally banned in other countries. If this continues to be the case, the most dominate social network in the world will have to be Chinese, because other social networks will miss out on China’s 1.4 billion potential users. As social networks grow, they will need to capture that large user base or they will fall behind.
I don’t know if it will be TikTok, WeChat, or a different social network. However, the global dominance of US owned social networks will dwindle in comparison to Chinese social networks.
Will Chineses social networks get banned or will they dominate? What does this mean for the future of social networks? Will we ever have a global social network?