September 25, 2008 at 14:26 PM EDT
Facebook Recruits Street Troops To Grow in Germany
Facebook may be the world's largest and fastest growing social network , but apparently Germany remains a tough market to crack for the company. The site is just ranked 19th on Alexa’s Top 100 list for this country , 10 positions behind StudiVZ , its local clone . While Facebook currently has a German user base of an 800,000 (according to the site’s ad placement tool ), StudiVZ boasts a membership of over 10 million, making it the largest social network in the German-speaking world. Facebook is available in this language since March this year and reportedly grew by just 200,000 members since then. Even assuming StudiVZ doesn’t get new users anymore, it would take Facebook over 20 years to catch up with this speed of growth. In Germany (where I hail from), organic growth doesn't seem to be an option for the company and it seems it has understood: After taking action in July ( when StudiVZ was sued for infringing Facebook's "look, feel, features and services" ), Facebook now takes another (quite unusual) stab at its clone by partnering up with Smaboo , a Zurich-based promotion agency.
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