Saturday, December 3, 2011

Comparing bike share system popularity on Facebook

Since blowing up in Paris in 2007, bicycle share systems have made their way to every continent, with more coming online each month.

These systems vary greatly in number of bikes, stations, subsrcibers and geographic area covered. But how do they compare in terms of Facebook popularity? Facebook is one of many ways these companies have of reaching their riders, and sending out critical information, like locations of new stations, removal of existing ones, changes in policy and so forth. Are the riders taking their interest in the system online?

All numbers from December 3rd, 2011. It is not all-inclusive by any stretch, although I tried to get all the big-name ones.

Likes - City - System name and link

15,679 Paris Velib
11,862 Montreal Bixi
11,129 Mexico City Ecobici

6,603 Toronto Bixi
4,379 Lyon Vélo'V
4,220 Minneapolis Nice Ride
3,894 Washington, DC Capital Bikeshare
3,739 Denver Bcycle
3,652 Barcelona Bicing
3,422 Boston Hubway

1,737 Miami Beach Deco Bike
781 Melbourne Bike Share
722 Milano BikeMi
442 Madison Bcycle

Of course Paris, with their enormous 4 year old system is the most popular. And that's generally followed by other large systems.

You'll note the list is quite eurocentric. The reason for that is twofold. One, I don't understand Chinese, so while they have some very large systems, it's hard for me to get detailed info on them. Two, Facebook is still primarily a western, and indeed English language world. There are many systems that prefer to reach their customers on whatever social network is locally popular. Facebook is not the most popular social networking website in Asia.

Further, there are many bike share systems I can't find an active facebook page for, London being the most significant. I can't believe London wouldn't have an official page, and am wondering why my searches bring up nothing. Many medium sized systems, like Oslo's Bysykkel are also missing. In fact, there's a bunch of ClearChannel system that don't appear to have official pages.


On another note, for such an enormous website, Facebook does have a terrible, TERRIBLE search system. And those community pages? Ugh. Had to use google mostly.

3 comments:

  1. clear channel has bike share systems?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, Clear Channel operates a bunch of bike share systems as part of their outdoor advertising contract with the city. They used to do DC, when it was called SmartBike. For whatever reason, almost none of them have facebook pages.

    The Paris system, Velib, is also by an ad company, JCDecaux.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It looks like London has a rouge Facebook page, which is not officially monitored by Barclay's Cycle Hire staff: http://www.facebook.com/Boris.Bikes.Forums

    ReplyDelete