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Apr 05 2013

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Snapshot: Facebook membership trends 2013 update

Last year we included Facebook membership in our Snapshot series. Here is our 2013 update of Facebook membership trends across the Caribbean

In 2013, Facebook continues to be the juggernaut social media property with well over 1 billion members worldwide. According to Facebook and as of 31 December 2012:

  • facebook-social-network-logo (Wikipedia)approximately 82% of its monthly active users are outside the U.S. and Canada
  • it has 618 million daily active users on average, and  

  • it has 680 million monthly active users who used Facebook mobile products.

Furthermore, yesterday, 4 April, Facebook launched its own mobile/cellular phone, called First. The device, manufactured by HTC, uses an Android Operating System (OS) that has been modified by Facebook. In the words of Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, the modified OS turns ‘your Android phone into a great social phone’ (Source: USA Today).

With First, and leveraging its massive user base, Facebook’s revenue from mobile advertising is expected to double by year-end, to well over USD 1 billion. Although the number of Facebook users in the Caribbean is minuscule (< 0.1%), in comparison to the global user population, how have those numbers changed over the past year?

In last year’s Snapshot of Facebook membership trends across the Caribbean, one of the premises for conducting the review was the fact that an appreciable number of existing Facebook members have been leaving the network, and in some countries, a net loss was recorded. In this Snapshot iteration, we highlight Facebook users numbers across the Caribbean as at 4 April 2013, and compare them with those figures with those recorded in June 2012.

Current Facebook membership numbers

As of April 2013, and according to Socialbakers, a social media analytics platform, there are approximately 6,583,920 Facebook users across the Caribbean. The largest user base can be found in the Dominican Republic, at approximately 2.8 million users, whilst the smallest, at just over 6,000, is in Anguilla.

However, as shown in Table 1, when the user base is compared against country population, Facebook membership ranges from as low as 4% of the population in Haiti, to as high as 55% of the population in the Bahamas. On average, Facebook membership penetration across the specified Caribbean countries is approximately 32%. In other words, one in three persons in the Caribbean uses Facebook.

Table 1:  Number of Facebook users and penetration Facebook membership in select Caribbean countries as at of April 2013 (Sources: Socialbakers, International Monetary Fund, CIA World Factbook)

Table 1: Number of Facebook users and penetration Facebook membership in select Caribbean countries as at of April 2013 (Sources: Socialbakers, International Monetary Fund, CIA World Factbook)

How does membership compare with our June 2012 reference?

In the nine months since our last Snapshot, Facebook membership has increased by approximately 427,000, or almost 7% across all of the Caribbean countries examined. Figure 1 shows the per country change in membership over the period under review.

Figure 1:  Percentage change in Facebook membership between June 2012 and April 2013 in select Caribbean countries (Source: Socialbakers)

Figure 1: Percentage change in Facebook membership between June 2012 and April 2013 in select Caribbean countries (Source: Socialbakers)

The greatest percentage increase in Facebook users was reported in Suriname, where over 18,000 new users were recorded since June 2012. On the other hand, the greatest percentage decrease occurred in Grenada, where almost 17% of the June 2012 user base (approximately 6,000 users), have reportedly left Facebook as at April 2013.

It is also highlighted that in terms of absolute figures, the largest increase in Facebook users occurred in the Dominican Republic (245,580), followed by Haiti (44,280) and Puerto Rico (34,320). The smallest increases were recorded in Anguilla and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (both 20 users), followed by Saint Kitts and Nevis (800 users). Similarly, the greatest losses in Facebook users were logged in Grenada (5,980 users), followed by Antigua and Barbuda (5,520 users) and Turks and Caicos Islands (380 users).

Wrapping up…

In summary, Facebook still remains very popular in the Caribbean. More importantly, the user base is still growing as more people subscribe to the network than leave it.

On a separate note and with regard to the new Facebook mobile/cellular phone, First, it is not yet known whether the device will be available in the Caribbean. However, it is interesting to consider, in light of frequent concerns about user privacy on Facebook, the extent to which First, or the new mobile application that was also launched yesterday, will be tracking users – both physically, and how they use their phones.

First should be released in the United States from mid-April. In the coming days, early reviews of the phone will most likely be published, and it would be interesting to see how it stacks up against other smartphones.

 

Image credit:  Wikipedia

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About the author

Michele Marius

Michele Marius has a wealth of experience in the telecoms and ICT space, which has been gained in the Caribbean, Southeast Asia and the South Pacific, and in the public and private sectors. She is the Editor and Publisher of ICT Pulse.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ict-pulse.com/2013/04/snapshot-facebook-membership-trends-2013-update/

1 comment

  1. kamutula

    My takings:

    1. Facebook membership more are joining than are leaving
    2. Facebook launching a new platform with “First”.
    3. By year-end revenue to exceed USD 1 billion

    These trends speak positive of the future of Facebook as a business. It will be interesting in the near future to look back at some misgivings that analysts and articles ( including a number of articles on this site, and probably understandably so ) have expressed over possible future business growth of Facebook.

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