Time flies, they say, when you're having fun... well, it's already been 10 years since Mark Zuckerberg and associates came up with the revolutionary concept of Facebook. At first, access was restricted to University campuses across the USA, but it soon became mainstream, morphing into a multibillion dollars company traded at the New York Stock Exchange and taking hold in the lives of over 1,28 billion users across the planet.
Here are ten facts and stats to consider at this point in time:
1. 1500 stories
With an average of 270 friends sharing, posting, tagging, commenting and liking various stuff on a daily basis, not to mention brands pushing their information, contests and pictures alike, a user's newsfeed is becoming an increasingly busy spot. In fact, it's now estimated there are over 1,500 stories or interactions happening at any given moment, which is why Facebook has a sophisticated algorithm in place (EdgeRank) to filter what it deems relevant for you. Not everyone is happy about EdgeRank, specially since only 16% of brand messages make it to fans' newsfeed. And that was back in 2012! Since December 2013, many more are seeing dramatic decreases in their posts' organic reach. Organic reach with unpaid content will very soon be a thing of the past for brands who manage an active page on Facebook!
2. Teenage wasteland no more!
Having started on University ground, Facebook was once known as the social media of choice for young and trendy folks. This is no longer the case, with 13-25 year-olds flocking away to messaging apps and other mobile favorites such as Vine, WeChat, WhatsApp, Instagram, Line and Snapchat.
Notice that it's not just teenagers but also young adults, in the 18-24 year-old demographic who are starting to flee, which could make for some concerns for brands targeting these audiences via social media and Facebook in particular.
3. Still growing, though
Yet, when looking at the chart shown above, there is also good news. Truth is, Facebook is becoming a mature platform but it's still growing, in particular with older demographics. In fact, its oldest member, Edythe Kirchmaier, is 106 years old and has over 46,000 friends! Another recent study, published by Pew Research Center, shows that Facebook remains the dominant player among US online adults, along with other social media such as Linkedin, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.
4. Time sucker
Many employers still block Facebook access on company computers and networks, fearing loss of productivity with employees spending too much time playing Candy Crush or commenting on family or friends recent vacation pictures! Why? Nearly 60% of Facebook users are active every day and spend on average 20 minutes on the site! In fact, do you have any idea how much time you've spent since you opened an account on Facebook? Try out this neat tool that will tell you more or less exactly... (click here)
5. 78% access through mobile
Another milestone was apparently reached recently, with 1 billion users now accessing Facebook through a mobile device, representing over 78% of its user base. In fact, one user in six, or 16%, actually access Facebook via mobile only. Did you know that the Facebook application is the most downloaded mobile app worldwide for both Android and iOS devices? The mobile experience has been getting better but remains incomplete when compared to the desktop version. Mobile is certainly a key focus for Facebook and it will be interesting to see developments on this front in coming weeks and months. In fact, some experts think mobile will make or break Facebook's future...
6. Huge Traffic Referral
According to Adobe's most recent social intelligence report, Facebook is still the king for social referred traffic but is slowly losing ground to other social media, in particular Twitter and Pinterest. So while brands are finding it more difficult to manage a dynamic presence on Facebook, it remains the key player for generating online traffic in most instances.
Source: Adobe Digital Index Q4 2013
7. 350 million photos uploaded... per day!
With so many pictures being shared on a daily basis, it's no wonder Facebook recently decided to crack down on memes and prioritize text links leading to articles, in particular from known mainstream media. Nevertheless, brands ought to embrace photos if they have not already, as posts with images produce a 650% higher engagement rate than regular text posts (Adobe Digital Index, Q4 2013).
8. Trending, or not?
Facebook keeps changing things around, and has many projects brewing at the same time, some of which will never see the light of day. Have you noticed these recent changes or evolution?
Graph Search: I know of many folks who still don't have this feature on their page. It was supposed to revolutionize online search as we know it. What gives?
Ratings: Noticed how hotels, spas and restaurants now have a 1 to 5 stars rating showing on their page? It's not quite clear how this is supposed to be managed, or where this is supposed to lead. Competition to Yelp, possible partnership with TripAdvisor, perhaps both? Or neither?
Trending: Many of us have starting seeing the "Trending" feature in our newsfeed - again, only the desktop version, not mobile. Will this make a dent into Twitter or simply flop like the integration of hashtags within posts?
9. World domination
Sure, Facebook is not allowed in China and there are a few places where it does not dominate (yet), but hey: it is number one in 127 out of 137 listed countries on the World Map of social networks! Thus it truly has become a global and pervasive brand, weaving its way into our daily routine.
Facebook has acquired companies and/or applications through the years, yet few ended up in significant end-user changes. Anybody remembers Gowalla? Instagram was certainly the most publicized acquisition back in 2012, and while it seemed like a pricey tab to pay back then at $1 billion, with only 25 million users, Instagram now boasts over 140 million users sharing over 55 million pictures per day! Smart move, after all.
Facebook offered $3 billion to purchase Snapchat last December, apparently twice rather than once, without success. What can we expect to see in 2014 and beyond in terms of merger or acquisition involving Facebook? Status quo is not an option in this fast-moving environment. Time will tell how Facebook manages to strive in the next ten years. Do you think Facebook will be around in 2024?