During the Easter Weekend, Facebook bought Instagram for a billion US dollars. However, some suggestions used by the media and analysts are far from the truth?

There are a lot of articles out there from allegedly reputable media and financial and tech analysts that seems to be suggesting Instagram is the biggest mobile social network, second biggest mobile social nework etc. The truth is far from that.

It may be the biggest social network purely for mobile – in the USA – but that is hardly the biggest in the world. I became curious to find a convenient list of the biggest social networks on mobile, thinking surely such a list exists somewhere – this being the hottest focal point and future direction of the hottest industry right now. I was surprised such a list doesn’t exist (or at least I was unable to find one easily).

A good page should be set up at Wikipedia but while we await that, let’s collect my best understanding of the biggest social networks as measured by their mobile users. This includes both ‘pure’ mobile social networks and the most recent counts of the largest online social networks by their mobile user base. No surprise on who showed up on top, either…

LARGEST SOCIAL NETWORKS ON MOBILE, Est. First Quarter 2012

Social Network (Owner) . . Users . . . Home Base

  1. Facebook mobile . . . . . . . .425 M . . . USA
  2. Mobile QQ (Tencent)  . . . . 200 M . . . China
  3. Sina (Weibo) . . . . . . . . . . 150 M . . . China
  4. RenRen  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 M . . . China
  5. Mig33 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 M . . . Singapore
  6. Twitter mobile . . . . . . . . . . 55 M . . . USA
  7. Blackberry Messenger . . . . .50 M . . . Canada
  8. Mxit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 M . . . South Africa
  9. Nimbuzz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 M . . . Netherlands
  10. Gree . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 M . . . Japan
  11. Instagram . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 M . . . USA
  12. Mobile Cyworld (SK)  . . . . . 25 M . . . South Korea
  13. Mobage Town (DeNA)  . . . . 25 M . . . Japan
  14. Mocospace . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 M . . . USA
  15. Whatsapp . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 M . . . USA
  16. FourSquare . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 M . . . USA
  17. Mixi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 M . . . Japan
  18. MyGamma (Buzz City)  . . . . 5 M . . . Singapore
  19. Flirtomatic  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 M . . . UK
  20. Itsmy  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 M . . . Germany
  21. Funbook (XL)  . . . . . . . . . . . 2 M . . . Indonesia
  22. Frenclub . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 M . . . Malaysia

Source: TomiAhonen Consulting Estimates April 2012. The above information may be freely shared

Please note, that this is a preliminary and incomplete listing. Secondly, before you complain that Facebook has over 800 million users etc., remember, I am counting the MOBILE users.

Thirdly, I would welcome any and all corrections and revisions, especially any mobile social networking services that are missing from the above listing. There are many national and regional social networks that are almost impossible to discover and find, especially when their native language is other than English… thus, accept the list above as ‘preliminary and incomplete’ as of April 10th.

As a service to all who are interested in social networking, or mobile, or mobile social networking, please accept the above as a listing of the biggest social networks today, by the count of their mobile phone based users.

More Information Available
And one shameless plug, as it is directly relevant to this article. For those who want to read more about the fastest-growing part of the digital space, where the biggest money is being made right now, you may want to read the first book that focused only on the mobile side of social networking, Tomi Ahonen Pearls Vol 2: Mobile Social Networking. The eBook runs 173 pages and costs only 9.99 Euros. Take a look at the book description here, the only place where the eBook is sold: Tomi Ahonen Pearls Vol 2: Mobile Social Networking.