Home France Web Market Overview

France Web Market Overview

Next in our
series on international Web markets is France. Other countries profiled so far have been
Germany, Holland, Poland, Korea, United Kingdom, Russia, Spain, China, Turkey, Italy and Brazil. France
has the 9th highest number of Internet users in the world, with 26.8 million. It has an
Internet penetration of 44%, putting it below countries like the US, UK and Germany (all
of which are over 60%). But France is similar to its neighbors Italy and Spain, which are
both in the 40-50% range for Internet penetration. Perhaps more significant is the number
of French language speakers on the Web, which is estimated to be 4.4% of all Internet
users – or 45.8 Million. However that’s only an estimated 12% of all French speakers, so
there is plenty of room for growth there.

My thanks to Thomas Ezan and Jean-Pierre Christie for the information in this post.
Both kindly sent me details about the French Web market and its most popular apps.

Overview of French Market

When I think of France and the Web, I think of Netvibes (the Personalized Start Page used by 5
million people according to recent
), Kelkoo (the price comparison engine
sold to yahoo), and Jeff Clavier (not a web
app, but a French angel investor!). But obviously there is much more to the French Web,
so I asked Thomas to tell me more…

R/WW: Do most people use French web apps/sites instead of the US ones?

Thomas: Not really, except for news websites. For example newspaper websites like LeMonde, Liberation and LeFigaro. There are also many internet and IT-focused
websites like 01net. All of those sites are in french. The
typical french person is not used to reading or talking in english, unlike in Germany,
Netherlands and the nordic countries. There is also french version of Techcrunch.

R/WW: Do the big companies have French language versions of their products?
(Google, Yahoo, Microsoft etc)

Thomas: Google is the number 1 website in France and the other big companies like msn,
yahoo are also very well used in France. For example their email services are well used.
They all have a french version (which they must do to target the french market). MSN
Messenger is the number 1 IM service (AIM is not very well used here). The french
versions of amazon and eBay are also very famous here.

R/WW: What are the biggest Web companies in France?

Thomas: I’m not sure, but meetic is number 1 as
far as turnover is concerned (it’s a dating site). And it’s started to spread around
Europe. There is also priceminister and 2xmoinscher, were people can sells second-hand
stuffs (it’s a kind of eBay without the auction concept). 

The biggest e-shops are Cdiscount.com and Rueducommerce, were you can find anything (buying on
the internet is now common in france, even for my mother!). Lastminute.com is the number 1 travel site. There is
also kelkoo, a “price comparer” created by Pierre Chappaz
and sold to Yahoo for millions.

Thomas’ Top Web Apps

Zlio: a kind of Loomia or MyPickList, which goes
further in enabling you to create your own shop online (here is mine). Thus it’s a “smart clone”, by
cloning and then innovating further…  isn’t it innovation ? 😉 [Richard: yes,

Wikio: made by the ex-ceo and founder of kelkoo. It’s a kind of digg-like in french, with many
technical and financial features. Chappaz is a “VIP” in the “net-economie”, with a weekly
tribune in liberation, a big french newspaper – so there’s been a lot of buzz on

LaFraise: created by a guy from Ubisoft, it’s a
clone of threadless but it’s taking over and
becoming international. Personaly I prefer lafraise to threadless, which doesn’t have the
same “graphical spirit”.

Podemus: a podcasting reference founded by Bertrand
Lenotre, it could be compared to odeo but it includes video.

Jean-Pierre’s List of French Web Apps

Digg Clones

http://www.wikio.fr/: the main french digg clone
(see above)

http://www.scoopeo.com/: another french language digg
clone [update: Scoopeo is from Belgium, not France]

http://fuzz.fr/: digg clone

Photos and Videos

http://www.fotolia.fr/: photo site

watching/publishing/sharing videos

http://www.criteo.com/films.aspx: films
and videos

http://www.eyeka.com/: photo and video sharing

http://www.kewego.fr/: video sharing

http://www.skema.fr/: video solutions

http://www.atafoto.com/: online shared photo

Social Networks / Blogs / Bookmarking

http://www.6nergies.net/: professional social

http://www.linkedfeed.com/: automated and
customizable information social network

http://www.yoono.com/: rss reader/integrated
social book marking

Sport exploits, information sharing, challenges

professional online blogs service

http://www.agoravox.fr/: citizen media


http://www.i-maginer.fr/: real-time 3D web

http://www.netvibes.com/: personalized start

http://www.kartoo.com/flash/3: meta
search engine

« tupperware » like website (see above)

http://www.uneinvitation.com/: leisure
organization platform

http://www.jamendo.com/fr/: music online

http://blog.moovement.com/: jobs

http://www.bluekiwi.fr/: intranet solution?

Top visited French specific websites

http://orange.fr/: top french telecom provider’s

http://free.fr/: second-placed telecom provider’s

http://www.voila.fr/: dating, chat website

http://www.mappy.com/: road and travel guide

http://www.fnac.com/:  big French ebusiness

http://www.boursorama.com/: first stock
exchange website

 Skyrock radio’s website


As always, please leave a comment if we’ve missed something or you have more
information about the French Web market. Thanks again to Thomas and Jean-Pierre for the
details in this post!

Update: based on comments below, here are some additions. Apologies to
those we missed out first time round…

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.