Compiling our International Guide to Social Media has led us to some very strange places in social networks.

None more so than when exploring the most popular YouTube sites in Russia. For those who’d like to know, the third most popular Russian YouTube channel is guns and explosives channel Dmitri, with an unbelievable 478 million views, and 2.7 million subscribers (and rising every day).

Here are some of our other favourite social media facts and figures that we discovered on our travels:

  • India’s internet use is being driven by mobile. India has 700m mobile subscribers, with an estimated 200,000 being added every day.
  • Qzone is the most popular social network in China with a massive 530m users. China’s RenRen has 130m users, 74% of whom are under 30.
  • Pinterest has a massive 4377% growth rate in the US, the highest growth anywhere in the world.
  • Google+ is particularly popular in South America. Brazil has the third highest number of Google+ users in the world.
  • Japan is the only country where Twitter is more popular than Facebook.
  • Vkontakte is Russia’s largest social network, with 110m users (mainly teens). It has 33m unique visitors per day. Facebook, while still growing, has a lot of ground to make up.
  • Orkut was overtaken by this year by Facebook in Brazil. But Orkut is still growing at 5% per year and 87% of Orkut users are keeping their profiles, even if they’re also on Facebook.
  • Sweden is the most connected country in the world, topping the World Wide Web Foundation’s global web index in 2012.
  • India is just behind the UK in LinkedIn use, with 10.6m people using the site. 
  • Internet users in Japan spend longer online than users in any other country, at 2.9 hours per day. Japanese network Mixi has 21m registered users (15m active users) and is more popular than Facebook (10m active users).
  • Norwegian brands have an 87% response rate to questions asked to them on Facebook (compared to a 45% rate in the UK).
  • There are 40m blogs in Russia, a natural extension of the nation’s tradition of self-publishing (there’s even a word for the culture of self-publishing – Samizdat – which pre-dates blogging technology. This culture was particularly prevalent during Soviet times but re-emerged in the 2000s).
  • Facebook’s facial recognition technology is coming under fire from data protection experts in Germany, who claim that the opt-out tagging option on Facebook goes against data protection laws (Google+, which also uses facial recognition technology, doesn’t come in for the same criticism, as its suggestion tool is opt-in)
  • India is tipped to become the largest Facebook market in the world by 2015.  

I’m really interested in any interesting, quirky or odd facts that anyone else has found about social media use across the world – do let me know of any in the comments section.

You can download the International Guide to Social Media here.