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Worldwide Medical Insurance News: Are expats using Facebook instead of forums?

People relocating abroad to foreign countries could increasingly be using social networking sites instead of forums to discover information.

This is according to Chris Marshall, resident of Almerimar and journalist for the Telegraph Expat, who wrote in the publication that bulletin board systems (BBSes) used to be "the first port of call for expats seeking information".

Members of the public may need a wide range of recommendations and assistance when moving to a foreign country, relating to issues such as international private medical insurance, housing and a huge variety of other important subjects.

However, Mr Marshall said there are several things he does not like about internet forums.

His "chief pet hate" is when individuals look for information, receive a response but then do not leave a message to say whether the suggestions were accurate or not.

On Facebook and Twitter, responses are speedier and answers often come from men and women that the expatriate has already contacted, he explained.

BBSes are still a "really good source of information" for specialist and niche subjects and are particularly useful when searching for assistance relating to technical problems, the expat remarked.

Mr Marshall argued Twitter, Facebook, blogs and specific sites are better for community and lifestyle issues.

However, Virtual Tourist general manager Giampiero Ambrosi told the journalist the forums on his website do not seem to have been dramatically affected by these emerging media.

Nonetheless, he admitted some of the social interaction that had previously occurred on the website's BBS no longer happens, with jokes and word games migrating across to social networking sites.

"For travel answers, our forums are as strong as ever; for whiling away a few minutes online, most people turn to Facebook," Mr Ambrosi stated.

Mr Marshall had previously warned expatriates can become tired and fed up in their new country after three years and suggested taking up a hobby, finding a job or doing anything that "keeps the brain ticking over".

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