“The Social Network” and its Evolution: Five Powerful Facebook Statistics

30 Sep, 2010 | by

Just as Google is synonymous with search, anyone remotely plugged into the now will tell you that Facebook is synonymous with social networking.  Or even “The Social Network”, according to the new Columbia Pictures film.  One thing is for sure: Facebook is here to stay, whether you like it or not.

The evolution of Facebook since its inception back in 2004 has been nothing short of miraculous.  A service once focused exclusively on connecting college students has grown into a virtual community used by practically everyone.  I mean everyone!  Have you ever taken a moment to ask yourself:  “Just how big is facebook?”  Well, the following five statistics may provide some meaningful perspective:

1.)  Key Facebook.com user statistics: 

  • There are currently more than 500 million active users
  • 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day
  • People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook
  • Average user has 130 friends
  • Average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events
  • Average user creates 90 pieces of content each month

Source:  Facebook Statistics

2.)  Global Reach:  An astonishing 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States

That’s right, the vast majority of FB users are from outside the United States.  To say the website has global appeal would be a massive understatement.  It’s quite incredible if you take a moment to think about this concept — a homegrown business that almost instantly spread across the world.  A simple concept in theory evolved into an essential tool for individuals to stay connected, regardless of location.   

Source:  Checkfacebook

3.)  Changing of the guard: Google vs. Facebook

In August 2010, Facebook surpassed Google as the top online destination.  This is an incredible statistic for a number of reasons: First, it validates Facebook’s undeniable popularity (no surprise there); second, and more importantly, it indicates that the site is more than just a social network! 

Being dubbed the top online destination doesn’t just give the company bragging rights; it proves that the site has expanded beyond socializing with friends and has demonstrated legitimate longevity as a profitable business.  It’s a tool that yields real-time data that users are leveraging to make routine decisions.  Interested in buying a new pair of shoes?  Leave a post and ask your friends for recommendations.  Need to coordinate a gathering with some of your closest friends?  Create an event.  It takes two minutes.  Moreover, I’m sure you can also find use in some of the 550,000 applications they have in their arsenal.   

 

Source:  Allfacebook

 

4.)  Age Distribution:  Dispelling the youth myth

While the statistic below places an emphasis on Mexico’s age distribution, growth vs. the average across the top 15 countries, the data is no less impressive.  As you might expect, the 18-25 range still dominates; however, the distribution also demonstrates significant concentrations in the 26-34 and 35-44 range.  Still think facebook is just for kids?

Source:  Insidefacebook

 

5.)  Profile Activity By Age

The visual below spans a number of profile activities across a broad range of age groups.  There are obviously many more activities that could theoretically be tracked across facebook, but I latched on to this chart for a specific reason:  It emphasizes what you might expect depending on the life-stage you’re in.  For example, as a teen you don’t really have many specific interests, since you’re still trying to figure out what they are; in contrast, people in their 50s are generally pretty well versed in what they like and don’t like.  So, as you might expect, they are looking to socialize with other people with similar interests. 

In a sense, facebook activity is generally driven by life-stage.  I would suspect, however, that the simplicity of the service has sparked new behavior as well.  Notice the “activities” spike for the 50s demongraphic?  Perhaps facebook has enabled this age group to connect with individuals of similar interests, which might then lend itself to exploring new activities.  How do you interpret this view?

Source:  Hubspot Blog

 

It’s clear Facebook’s presence has captured the mindshare of our internet generation.  Its global scale and breadth of functionality has kept users engaged and growing.  The five data-points covered proves those statements in emphatic fashion.  But where do they go from here?  Time will tell, but one thing is certain: For now, Facebook undoubtedly is…The Social Network. 

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    Here is an interesting article/argument on why FB will be larger than Google in 5 years:

    http://techcrunch.com/2010/10/02/facebook-bigger-google/

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