Home

Facebook is certainly a force of globalization. All across the world, this website is used by different users of different cultures for different means. Ever since I was in high school, Facebook invites would pop up on my screen, inviting me to join or ‘like’ their specific page. Today, my mom even has her own page, specifically meant to market her real estate business. In the Czech Republic, Facebook pages invite users to rally around a public figure or company in order to show their support. According to the website, socialbakers.com, the Facebook pages with the largest total fans include the condom company Durex, athlete Petr Cech, and technology corporation HP. Other popular pages include several Czech models including Claire Muzik, Veronica LaVery, Alena Seredova, and Karolina Kurkova. Some of the fastest growing pages inlcude Nivea, a Home/Garden website, and a community page about Liberland.

Petr Cech. Image courtesy of Flickr user Live4Soccer(L4S).

Petr Cech. Image courtesy of Flickr user Live4Soccer(L4S).

This website was particularly interesting to me because it also allowed me the option to see the same statistics for the United States. In the US, the pages with the most fans included the one for Eminem, Vin Diesel, and Michael Jackson. The majority in the top 20 included celebrities, with the exception of MTV and the Fast & Furious. Company pages were featured in the fastest growing sites including Pizza Hut, Mentos, and Frontera Concha y Toro.

While the Czech pages seemed to center around models, the American one focused on A-list celebrities, rappers, and athletes. It was interesting to note this, as each country seemed to favor personalities that were local to their own culture.

While this website may track the top trends in the Czech Republic in general, another article written for the Expats discusses “25 Facebook Pages We Love.” Eva Samsukova, the author, lists several different pages under the different categories of Practical, Events, Food and Drink, Fashion/Design, Just for Fun, and Community. What I found interesting about this article was the fact that it covered so many different topics…everything from, “Prsi v Praze?” (Is it raining in Prague?) to a service allowing for cheap travel.

Because this article was written for Expats, I question the idea that the claims also hold true for “all-Czech” citizens. Rather than pointers on how to cook traditional Czech food, there are also pages that blatantly make fun of Czech culture. This may be a part of the traditional Czech dry sense of humor apparent in advertising. For example, one of the recommended pages is called “Modni Peklo” (Fashion Hell). The description reads, “Czechs are very famous for wearing socks and sandals. That’s not our only vice! Módní Peklo regularly reports on hundreds of others and their feed is famed for its daily photos of fashion blunders” (2014). Another page, called “Divnolidi v MHD” tracks the ‘freaks on public transport’.

Besides the humor, Samsukova also discusses more serious pages. These include food/drink recommendations and even a page dedicated to exposing the absurdity of Czech advertising. Last, yet another important page to discuss, Samsukova writes about the “Humans of Prague” page, HONY’s central European twin. The fact that this page even exists shows that western influence is very strong. Tomas Princ, the author, took it upon himself to map the streets of Prague just like Brandon Stanton had done in New York.

Overall, I think that the Czech use of Facebook pages is quite similar to American use. In both countries, users follow famous athletes, celebrities, and models (more-so in the CZ). Facebookers on both ends follow interesting, entertaining, and informative pages. However, the differences were also clear, as seen with more support for companies in the Czech top ten. What I am left wondering is; Which pages have the most eclectic group of followers? Is there a page that both Czechs and Americans frequently visit?

Featured Image taken as a screengrab from the website ExPats.cz 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “The CZ’s Most Popular Facebook Pages

  1. This was quite an interesting read which leaves me curious as well to pages with overlap from both Czechs and Americans. I was particularly piqued by the 25 recommended pages by expats but after visiting a few of them I would say that although they may seem like misrepresentations of general Czech interests the pages are run by and for Czech people. I guess a bit of a silly parallel would be Worldstar Hip Hop which has a very sizable following and is certainly a part of African American culture and in turn American culture. And like the expat recommended pages, they may not give a full view of American culture and viewed solely may give a misrepresentation of American culture. WSHH and many other sizable pages also poke fun at American culture just like the recommended pages by the expats but that in itself is part of culture, being able to laugh at ourselves.

    Another interesting point is the support for corporations. During one of my assignments in another class, we were tasked with researching the social media pages of Siemens as well as its competitors. In comparison to GE, although GE had almost 10x the number of likes, Siemens had almost double the interactions with its posts in terms of likes and comments. This is not to be meant in a demeaning way but I think that smaller countries feel more pride for their contributions to society in the form of companies. For example, I often visit Taiwan and companies like Acer, Asus, and of course HTC are held to a much higher regard than Americans hold American corporations.

  2. I find it interesting that Czech Facebook likes tend to gravitate towards celebrity and business pages. Another thing I have noticed is that Facebook is very helpful for keeping tabs on interesting events going on in Prague that may not have the money for big advertisements. Often times on the side of my newsfeed, I will see events that I can join that are popular in my area. Often times these are for music festivals or similar nightlife events that are not hosted by large venues, but are more of a DIY event.

    What I find fascinating about it is that the events will often have more than 1,000 people planning on attending, and there are many events that happen every weekend. This makes me think that for the Czech Republic, Facebook is an important tool for people to meet up that may not be into the regular club scene. Instead of finding out information about going out on advertisements, they would instead look to Facebook.

    Another social media tool that I think influences this movement is GoOut.cz. This site organizes the huge number of both DIY events, popular club events, theatrical performances, and other cultural experiences on their website, letting you know what is available to go out and see today. If the event is not part of a big corporation or venue with a website to link to, it will link instead to the Facebook event. However, GoOut elicits the same concerns to me that Expats does to the author. I’ve only encountered the site in English (and it’s unclear if there is a Czech version), so it is possible that this site is only catering to the expat experience, rather than giving an authentic slice of what Czechs like to do. At the same time, it offers such a wide range of options that I find it hard to think that only non-Czechs are attending these events. In fact, with the events I have attended, English speakers are few and far between.

    With events in America, I rarely see a Facebook event unless it’s for something school related or a DIY event. It’s interesting to see that this part of Facebook culture is the same here, just as the page likes are similar.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s