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Apr 06 2016

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Snapshot: Facebook membership trends, 2016 update

An update of Facebook membership in the Caribbean countries for 2016, which is compared with our 2015 findings.

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Photography_g291-Camera_Lens_p64295.htmlFacebook continues to be one of the largest social networks in the world with approximately 1.6 billion users worldwide, and is still growing. For the past four years, we have been recording and reporting Facebook membership numbers from across the Caribbean. Here we update our findings on Facebook subscriber numbers across the region, as at 5 April 2016, and compare them with those from last year’s review.

Current Facebook membership numbers

For our 2016 assessment, we again secured data for 24 Caribbean countries, which are identified in Table 1. As of 5 April 2016, and according to Facebook, there are approximately 11.4 million Facebook subscribers across the 24 countries assessed, which averages approximately 48% per country, but a regional penetration of around 34%.

Table 1: Estimated number of Facebook subscribers and subscriber penetration in select Caribbean countries as of April 2016 (Sources: Facebook, IMF, CIA World Factbook, Wikipedia)

Table 1: Estimated number of Facebook subscribers and subscriber penetration in select Caribbean countries as of April 2016 (Sources: Facebook, IMF, CIA World Factbook, Wikipedia)

In terms of absolute figures, the largest number of Facebook members is in the Dominican Republic, at approximately 4.3 million members, which is followed by Puerto Rico, with 2.1 million, and Haiti with 1.2 million. Conversely, the smallest Facebook memberships were recorded in the British Virgin Islands, at around 5,000, and thereafter in Anguilla and the Turks and Caicos Islands at around 9,000 and 23,800, respectively.

In terms of user density – number of Facebook subscribers against country population – the highest was recorded in the Cayman Islands, at 78%, and was followed by Aruba, at 68%, and Puerto Rico, at 58%. Conversely, the lowest Facebook member penetration numbers were recorded found in Haiti and the British Virgin islands, where approximately 11% and 15% of the population are estimated to be Facebook subscribers. Further, excluding those two countries, all other countries surveyed had a Facebook user penetration of over 30%.

What changes have occurred since 2015?

In the year since our last Facebook Snapshot, membership appears to have increased by approximately 16%, or nearly 1.6 million, across the 24 Caribbean countries compared. Most countries experienced an increase in user density as reflected in Figure 1. The exceptions was the British Virgin Islands, where Facebook reports a drop in membership by 7,500 – 60% drop from what it had been in 2015.

Figure 2: Comparison of Facebook membership penetration in April 2016 and March 2015 in select Caribbean countries (Sources: Facebook, World Bank, IMF, CIA Factbook, Wikipedia)

Figure 2: Comparison of Facebook membership penetration in April 2016 and March 2015 in select Caribbean countries (Sources: Facebook, World Bank, IMF, CIA Factbook, Wikipedia)

The greatest increase in Facebook users since our last review in 2015, approximately 700,000, was recorded in the Dominican Republic, and was followed by Haiti, with approximately 260,000 new users, and Jamaica, with around 140,000 new Facebook users added

Some final thoughts…

At this time, no clear explanation can be given for the significant loss of membership recorded in the British Virgin Islands, which according to Facebook, has been declining over the past few years. Nevertheless, Facebook subscriber numbers are still increasing in the Caribbean, which continues to suggest that it is still an exceedingly popular social network in the region. Again, 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.

 

Image credit:   Sura Nualpradid (FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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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/2016/04/snapshot-facebook-membership-trends-2016-update/