Number 1 in Europe?

I was wandering around the internet and I came across this interesting image from Viadeo, the professional social network.
And interestingly enough they pretend to be number 1 in Europe with 8 million members.
I took my excel spreadsheet and started doing my maths.


In France, Linkedin has 2,2 million members and in the UK and the latest figures that I took from this infographic is 5.9 million members.
Overall if you add on Uk+France+Netherlands+Spain = 12.2 million members or more than 8 million.

So in Europe, Linkedin is number 1. And obviously this infographic is inaccurate!!

Why would they claim they are number 1??

However what is interesting from this infographic is that 40% of connections are made with someone within 5 miles radius. We tend to network locally and that is important to understand.

The people on Viadeo are slightly younger than on Linkedin (43 years old vs 37 years old).

Now the big issue for Viadeo is: Can they survive? and if so how? Local markets obviously, niche markets, china and india…because the way we do business in China, they may have a competitive advantage…But why lying on European figures?

Let’s see what is going to happen…And by the way, if someone from Viadeo want to explain these figures, I would be more than happy to include it in this post…I am open minded!!

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15 comments untill now

  1. LinkedIn only occasionally release official figures and even then they only release them for certain areas.
    As a result you often find people publishing their own numbers which seem to vary dramatically.
    They are not making them up (at least I don’t think so) but they will take the data from LinkedIn advertising demographics or via searches on LinkedIn’s Recruiter product but in my experience these results are often quite different from the figures LinkedIn release.
    I do know (from LinkedIn) that in December user numbers reached 5 million in the UK and they are growing at about 100,000 every month so the UK is probably getting near to 5.5 million and this is the largest number in Europe. Last year Europe accounted for about 25% of users when the total was 85 million, this may have reduced a little (due to the accelerated growth in South America) but I would assume that the total number in Europe is probably over 20 million.
    Which puts Viadeo’s 8.1 million into perspective.
    When LinkedIn announced their 100 million members recently it was interesting that Viadeo’s homeland of France has seen the fastest growing LinkedIn population in Europe (72% growth) and Viadeo’s highest membership in South America is where LinkedIn are experiencing massive growth (Brazil 428% & Mexico 178%)so maybe they are starting to feel the pressure!

  2. Laurent Brouat @ 2011-03-30 23:19

    Hi Mark, many thanks for your comment….interesting figures :) I think that Viadeo now is feeling the pressure…the fastest growing country in Europe is…France…the question, what are they going to do? When I mention Viadeo in London, nobody knows it..figures are always questionable however pretending to be the leader in Europe is a bit too much!! Hope you are well mark!

  3. i would be interested to see the difference in active users rather than members with a profile. I think the term “users” is a missleading one in any channel, as this indicates the number of people actually using it.
    We know the global figure for the actual visits to linked In globally is 2.9 times per month per “user.” More socially active channels like Facebook are visited atleast once a day by “users” on average.The active “users” figure is a far more beneficial figure than people who joined. It’s a bit like people on a magazine subscription list against people who actually read it. Any idea on this figure for Viadeo?
    Linked In is fast becoming an e-mail channel in terms of engagement. Members monitor traffic via updates, accept connection invitations and post/reply without going in to the channel. Other social channels like FB are more mobile friendly, and with 51% of social updates being posted via mobile, i’m sure this impacts on active users v passive members, and it’s active users that are more interesting to me in social media strategy.
    Just my thoughts,

  4. We saw Peter Crosby’s presentation a few weeks ago and he said Viadeo are the largest professional network in Europe, South America and China. I don’t think he would tell a blatant lie to people.

    Perhaps they measure it differently? Or they have bought other networks with existing members and counted these?

  5. Merci Laurent pour ces chiffres qui effectivement me laissent perplexe. Pourtant, il suffit de comparer linkedin à viadeo avec pour avoir un début de réponse sur leur réalité…

  6. Benoit Bliard @ 2011-04-01 12:42

    Petit exercice intéressant :
    Tapez sur Google.
    Vous trouvez 6,76 millions de pages et bien sûr une majorité de ces pages ne sont pas des profils.

    Maintenant tapez inurl:profile
    Vous trouvez… 2,14 millions de profils.

    CQFD… où sont donc les 35 millions de membres ??

    2 possibilités :
    -soit une minorité de pages Viadeo sont invisibles par Google !!
    - soit Viadeo truque effectivement ces chiffres

  7. Benoit Bliard @ 2011-04-01 13:02

    Il faut lire “une majorité de pages Viadeo sont invisibles par Google”

  8. Laurent Brouat @ 2011-04-04 08:12

    Agreed Bill on your point, active members are much more interesting…think about twitter where less of 50% of the accounts are active! However Linkedin is trying to boost its social aspect by getting more social usage…the question is, when you share figures, how to measure active members vs passive members?

  9. Laurent Brouat @ 2011-04-04 08:13

    That is good point Jorgen, how do they measure it? The question is opened…

  10. Laurent Brouat @ 2011-04-04 08:16

    C’est vrai Frédéric! J’aimerai avoir des éléments de réponse…sur le blog de Locita, Jeremy Benmoussa a écrit un article très ressemblant il y a quelque temps: ou Olivier Zara,

  11. Laurent Brouat @ 2011-04-04 08:17

    Merci Benoit pour cette idée et ces chiffres…effectivement il doit y avoir d’autres façons de comptabiliser les usagers…

  12. Peter Cunningham @ 2011-05-04 12:04

    I don’t think you can trust any figures given by social networks – only Xing is audited as it is listed (although the reporting standards of the Neuer Markt are notoriously low) and a network could easily create a robot to create profiles and login or use tricks to increase traffic just before an IPO.

    The best measure would be to use Hitwise figures if you have access! You could even use Alexa and Google Trends, look at Linked’in. Xing and Viadeo and compare UVs. If you assume that the UVs per member should be the same (if the members are equally as active) then you could get a better idea of the reality. I think only Tianji is not integrated into the main Viadeo network so you can use some assumptions.

    Viadeo bought a lot of networks with no business model for what I understand was really peanuts in Tianji, Apnacircle, ICT and Unyk. They put the numbers from these networks together (eg they uploaded 16m address book profiles from Unyk) – its not organic growth in that sense.

    Its good to ask questions of all these figures that social networks are quoting.

  13. Laurent Brouat @ 2011-05-06 09:04

    Thanks Peter for your comment…I did not know that Xing was audited!

  14. [...] Un autre mensonge  ? Voir le billet de Laurent Brouat : [...]

  15. Gedias Machado @ 2011-11-30 15:41


    I’m a 43 years old Brazilian living in Rio de Janeiro. I’ve never heard of that company “Viadeo” until yesterday, and I was very surprised to see that I didn’t knew the second largest professional social network of the world. I ‘m a LinkedIn and a Xing user and never had heard about “Viadeo”? That’s not possible…

    And that was not only me: no one I know, knows what “Viadeo” is or have subscribed to their service. The only thing I’ve got back from my friends were jokes about that strange name, because “viadeo” closely resembles a Portuguese word that means GAY in its worst definition.

    When they bought Unyk, a Canadian contact management website, maybe they have got some Brazilian accounts, but that’s almost an invisible service. It’s not a real social network…

    With another name and some advertising maybe they can gather some Brazilian users. In its current form, I doubt.

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