Spain & Social Networking

I struggled this week to find a country I wanted to explore when I decided to examine one of the countries on my travel schedule when I go to Europe: Spain.  It appears this European nation is one of the few countries where Facebook hasn’t pulled a Napoleon Bonaparte can have complete world domination; they must supplant Tuenti in Spain. 

6_tuenti

Tuenti is Spain’s dominant leader for social media.  The site is targeted at the Spanish audience predominately teens and the twenty something crowd.  

Approximately 13 million Spanish Internet users visited a social networking site in December 2008 – up 41 percent versus the previous year. The most popular social networking property was Spanish site Tuenti.com, which grew 770 percent over the course of the year to 5.6 million visitors in December 2008.

Tuenti retains is elite status by only being accessible via invitation only.  Tuenti faithful can choose their network of friends, “ such as college dorms or favorite hangouts, as well as the more general categories, including city of residence or university attended, on which Facebook networks are based.”

Although this is a targeted demo for any marketers, advertisers beware… the Spanish site aims to change how they do advertising.  “To lead a change in the Spanish advertising market, by investing in a new relevant and segmented communication model, more efficient for advertisers and pleasant for users.” 

So what is this new “Spanish advertising market?”  I don’t know? I tried to uncover what will ultimately separate Tuenti from Facebook, but I kept reading rhetoric from the company’s CEO that keeps investors intrigued. However, it makes me increasingly concerned because sometimes being first isn’t enough.

I’m left wondering….

What is ultimately the difference between the local favorite and the Facebook? 

Can Spain support two social networking sites? 

Where will social networking and Tuenti be in one year or even 18 months in Spain?

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