Last July, I covered the work of Global Web Index, which offered a quick glimpse of data for global social network usage, which they called Global Web Index LITE. Today, they shared their latest work with me – an infographic. The Global Map of Social Networking 2011 shows the size of active social networkers for each regional market and then segments them into three behavior types: messagers and mailers, joiners and creators of groups, and content sharers.

Here’s the entire graphic as a Slidehshare embed:

You can also download the PDF directly from Global Web Index’s website.

The legend that outlines social network penetration by country, enlarged for more clarity:

Are there any surprises for you in here? From the planning that I see many companies doing – not only in their marketing and communications efforts, but in their actual product planning and manufacturing – the BRIC markets (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are essential. That’s borne out here as well – although it should be noted that Facebook has very little penetration into Russia and China currently.

To me, it’s interesting to look at markets like Mexico, Italy, India, Russia, Malaysia and the Phillipines, where there is a greater percentage of people sharing content rather than those simply sending messages. This means that you need to have a content plan that enables active sharing of content – photos, videos, embeddable documents and slides, etc.

If you’re in a global business, how does this infographic make you think about your plans? If you’re based in a single market, how do the numbers reflect what you’ve seen?