Snapshot: Facebook membership trends 2014 update

The 2014 update of Facebook membership in the Caribbean countries and a comparison with our 2013 findings.

Similar to 2013, Facebook continues to be one of the largest social networks in the world with well over 1 billion users worldwide. Although its growth rate has slowed, its statistics remain impressive:

Figure 1:  Facebook by numbers, as at January 2014 (Sources: Statistics Brain; Digital Marketing Ramblings)
Figure 1: Facebook by numbers, as at January 2014 (Sources: Statistics Brain; Digital Marketing Ramblings)

For the past two years and as part of our continuing Snapshot series, we have been presenting Facebook membership data from across the Caribbean. Here we update our findings on Facebook subscriber numbers in the region, as at 27 March 2014, and compare them with those recorded last year.

Current Facebook membership numbers

For our 2014 review, we secured data for 24 Caribbean countries, which are identified in Table 1. As of March 2014, and according to Facebook and social media analytics platform, Allin1Social, there are about 6.9 million Facebook subscribers across the 24 countries assessed, which averages to approximately to 39.3% per country.

In terms of absolute figures, the largest number of Facebook members was recorded in the Dominican Republic, the most populous country in the grouping, 10.4 million, which has approximately 3.4 million members. Though a direct relationship between population size and Facebook subscriber numbers might be expected, there is an anomaly. The second most populous country, Haiti, at 10.3 million, does not have the second highest number of Facebook users. Instead, that recognition goes to Puerto Rico, with approximately 1.9 million, followed by Jamaica with 780,000. On the other hand, the smallest Facebook membership, at around 6,600, would be found in Anguilla.

Table 1:  Estimated number of Facebook subscribers and subscriber penetration in select Caribbean countries as of March 2014 (Sources: Facebook, Allin1Social, International Monetary Fund, CIA World Factbook, Wikipedia)
Table 1: Estimated number of Facebook subscribers and subscriber penetration in select Caribbean countries as of March 2014 (Sources: Facebook, Allin1Social, International Monetary Fund, CIA World Factbook, Wikipedia)

In terms of penetration – number of Facebook subscribers against country population – the highest was recorded in Aruba, at 61.1%, and was followed by the Cayman Islands, at 58.2%, and Puerto Rico, at 51.4%. Conversely, the lowest Facebook member penetration was reported found in Haiti, where approximately 7.0% of the population are estimated to be Facebook subscribers.

How does membership compare with our April 2013 reference?

In the year since our 2013 Snapshot, Facebook membership appears to have increased by almost 4.8%, or approximately 396,000, across the 20 Caribbean countries compared. All countries experienced an increase in penetration rates as reflected in Figure 2. (Note: Aruba, Guadeloupe, Martinique and the Netherland Antilles are new entries for 2014, and authoritative data from 2013, to facilitate comparison, was not readily available).

Figure 2: Facebook membership penetration in April 2013 and March 2014 in select Caribbean countries (Sources: Socialbakers; Allin1Social)
Figure 2: Facebook membership penetration in April 2013 and March 2014 in select Caribbean countries (Sources: Socialbakers; Allin1Social)

The greatest percentage increase in Facebook users, 17.1%, was recorded in Puerto Rico, where an estimated 600,000 new users were reportedly added since April 2013.  This was followed by Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, where the membership base increased 8.7%, and then the Grenada at 7.6%.

On the other hand, the smallest percentage increase occurred in Anguilla, where membership reportedly increased by only 0.6% (an estimated 240 subscribers). The second lowest increase was found in the Turks and Caicos Islands, at 1.1%, followed by the Cayman Islands, at 2.3%.

Quick summary

The 2014 results suggest that Facebook remains very popular in the Caribbean. More importantly, the subscriber base is still growing as more people subscribe to the network than leave it. The largest contributor to new members may be the teen age group, especially those who have reached the minimum age, 13 years old, to create a Facebook account. However, it is also likely that more mature adults, particularly those who had been wary of or uninterested in Facebook, have finally decided to join.

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4 Comments

  • In the last two or so years, businesses and organisations ( as individual entities ) have taken to Facebook, recognising it as a mass playing ground for their clientele. The extent to which these ( business entities amd organisations ) have had an impact on Facebook new membership statistics could be a matter of interest.

    • Kamutula,

      Based on the readings I have come across, I do not get the impression that the presence of business entities and organisations on Facebook have had any significant impact on new membership. I have gathered that the main impetus for persons joining Facebook is personal: to connect with family and friends. Hence businesses and other organisations are capitalising on the “captive audience”, in the same way that they do with other media, e.g. TV, radio, magazines, etc.

      For example, with regard to Facebook pages – which businesses, organsiations, celebrities, etc. tend to use – it is important to remember that Facebook generally limits the pages’ engagement with (or reach to) its users, unless the page owners are prepared to pay. Recent information indicates that Facebook only allows FB pages to access up to 16% of their followers, and that reach can be widened if they promote the posts (for $$) or launch an ad campaign.

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