Probably many of you, if not all, are thinking :”Umn, what language is that?” right now. And I can proudly say that it’s my mother tongue – Latvian.

draugiem.lv is the most popular networking site amongst Latvians – with 2,6 million registered users it’s managed to land amid those sites with more than one million participants.


2,6 million next to 1,44 billion active monthly users might seem petty. But Latvians are well pleased!

draugiem.lv is Latvia’s attempt on simulating Facebook and other like-minded online communities, which was launched in April, 2004. Like these , it also asks for creating a profile.

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I know, I know..stop laughing already!

Once that’s done, your travelling choices are unlimited. Join a community; either you attend Riga Centre Language School, listen to 30STM – there are thousands of people like you. Members will not only feel you but will also suggest you places to go, tracks to listen to and teachers to avoid. Some of my friends met their true loves when joining these societies.

Just like on Facebook,  one can send messages, congratuate others on their birthdays and name day (more presents, why not?!), upload galleries and post deep quotes on online diaries.

What makes draugiem.lv stand out is its option to find out who has been stalking you. You get to know the exact time and frequency of his/hers attendance. However, this comes only if you pay.

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Back in the days, boasting about the number of visitors you got each day was a vital ingredient amidst teenagers; we did everything to boost our statistics. I remember updating my profile photo every day. Miserable.

What is sad, however, is its diminishing popularity. With powerful and authorative sites like Facebook or Youtube, national replicas no longer seem engaging or capable of arousing any curiosity or interest. Is this the end of national communities? Do we all join a global community?

1 Comment

  1. Very Interesting post. Sometimes we forget how different countries have many other versions of social media, adapted more to the local presence. Other successful examples are VK in Russia,Douban and Qzone in China. The last two are more specialised basing on people’s interest, but both appear to us as clones of Facebook, which there is even banned and that brings even a different reality, where people are forced to find alternatives.


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