Facebook Nation

If we add up all Facebook users in the world, we would end up with the third largest single nation: an estimated 400 million people and counting.

Here are the numbers, and a short analysis based on my point-of-view.

While Facebook’s international audience totaled 34 million people at the beginning of 2008, on the first day of 2009 that number had increased to 95 million – nearly 70% of the total Facebook audience. Today, it’s nearly 300 million of Facebook’s 400 million active users.  More on Facebook Global Monitor

The Statistics – Facebook users per country

Rank Country Number of Facebook users 12 month growth % 6 month growth %
1 USA 101,303,240 140.80% 46.00%
2 UK 22,625,300 51.50% 20.90%
3 Turkey 16,943,780 113.60% 36.80%
4 Indonesia 14,681,580 1536.70% 126%
5 France 14,290,700 117% 32.60%
6 Canada 14,228,460 31% 19%
7 Italy 13,272,760 137.60% 30%
8 Philippines 8,387,560 2046.80% 208.40%
9 Spain 7,701,200 196.70% 33.40%
10 Australia 7,611,920 75.80% 25.70%
11 Argentina 7,387,120 227.50% 50.60%
12 Colombia 7,243,520 99.40% 25.80%
13 Mexico 6,505,040 351.50% 78.50%
14 Chile 5,808,020 39.90% 20.20%
15 Germany 5,799,520 361.90% 84.90%
16 Taiwan 5,490,300 4763% 701%
17 India 5,397,480 403.80% 66.80%
18 Venezuela 4,952,340 164.20% 38.40%
19 Malaysia 3,975,640 367.50% 99.30%
20 Sweden 3,066,180 80.70% 34.10%
21 Belgium 2,872,160 73.50% 21.10%
22 Hong Kong 2,727,980 87.00% 30.70%
23 South Africa 2,434,500 164.60% 41.50%
24 Brazil 2,413,900 1052.40% 137.70%
25 Egypt 2,341,880 184.70% 44.70%
26 Denmark 2,262,260 27.40% 15.30%
27 Norway 2,256,080 54.90% 21.70%
28 Greece 2,222,860 122.40% 35.60%
29 Israel 2,149,500 149.50% 49.90%
30 Thailand 1,963,560 1063.80% 181.60%

Undisputably, the US is the largest (and the oldest) Facebook nation, and represents 1/3 of its current population, yet proportionately the penetration of Facebook is greater in Norway where one half of its population are users, similar to Denmark, and the same proportion of Hong Kong users of 1/3 to the total population, likewise in Canada. It is safe to say that the proportion of Internet users in Europe and North America is quite high, therefore, even if we examine these numbers of users to the number of Internet users, it is still quite high.

Facebook growth is tremendous in Southeast Asia and South America, good tropical infusions to this otherwise american and euro-centric world.

In Indonesia, the proportion of users 14,681 represents less than 10% of its total population and likewise in the Phillippines, and Thailand seems to have discovered Facebook only last year as well. Brazil, with a population similar to Indonesia, lags behind at Facebook being used by a little over 1% of the population. It lags far behind its South American neighbors in both numbers of users and relative proportion to total populations, but surprisingly is the second indicator in growth after the incredible surge in the Phillippines in the past year. Brazil might still be stuck in its Orkut phase.

In developing countries, these numbers need to be seen in relation to Internet users, which is not that high. So it could very well be true that relative to the population of Internet users, the numbers in developing countries is quite high as well.

Where is Japan in all of this?

What does this mean?

According to these numbers, Facebook is a nation where:

– Americans are a majority, Brits come in second far far behind, and the other countries represent tiny minorities

– The majority is English-speaking, with Spanish as the second most used language – geopolitically a Western-dominated tool.

– Mandarin may be spoken by majority of Taiwanese, Singaporean and Malaysian users but minorly because of:

– Almost no Chinese members (Numbers have dwindled considerably in the past 6 months), since Facebook is 非死不可 (in Pinyin: FeiSiBuKe) which means Dooms to Die. But lots of Chinese on identical FB spinoffs.

Also hardly any Japanese users, and also not many Korean. They have their own way of socialising online away from Western standards.

I have always contended that these social media tools contain far more information about people than governments would ever be able to collect. Governments surveil, pressure and chase us  just enough to gather ‘civic’ data needed for tax purposes, but rarely collects any other personal data, let alone knowing who your friends are. The meaning of ‘person’ for a government record and the meaning of ‘person’ on Facebook is completely different. I get a little paranoid over this fact.

If Facebook were a nation, because it very well could, it would mean that immense power lies in their hands. There needs to be an enormous amount of trust in these servers and in this network in order for things not to go awry.

What is your reading of these numbers?

One thought on “Facebook Nation

  1. “The meaning of ‘person’ for a government record and the meaning of ‘person’ on Facebook is completely different.”

    could be in italics…..this is the stellar nugget of the post…….

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