Spanish language social networking site Sonico is the biggest social networking site you’ve probably never heard of before today. If you haven’t you wouldn’t be alone, it has zero hits in Google News as I write this post.
Buenos Aires based Sonico from FNBox launched in August 2007 with the usual social networking mix of message boards, profiles and networks based on school or workplace. Nothing remarkable, until you look at the numbers.
Sonico now has over 8 million registered users, and has recently launched a Portuguese version as well (so as to cover the rest of South America). According to Alexa the site now ranks at 167, and is in the top 50 sites in Colombia, El Salvador, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Peru, Honduras, Panama, Chile, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Argentina, Cuba and Mexico. We can only get the worldwide figures from comScore and although it’s still below the leading second tier social networking sites, it’s still placed extremely well for a site that is just 6 months old.
Targeting the South American market is in vogue at the moment with players such as MySpace and Facebook now offering Spanish language versions, and smaller players such as Wamba trying to get a foot hold in a continent that has a growing online user base. Google’s Orkut is already big in Brazil and Hi5 is also popular locally. If their current growth continues Sonico will be a site to watch.