With the number of internet users rising rapidly across the world, Facebook, an online social media and social networking platform, is also registering more and more users every day.
The Facebook website was launched by Mark Zuckerberg and his fellow Harvard students on February 4, 2004. Initially, membership was limited to the students of Harvard and later extended to include a greater number of educational institutions in the US. However, the quick rise to fame of Facebook among the youth convinced the website owners to relax the membership rules to include anyone in any part of the world who is at least 13 years of age.
The fact that Facebook could be accessed on desktops, tablets, laptops, smartphones, and a range of mobile networks fuelled the growth of this social media and networking platform. It gradually became one of the most popular ways of connecting with friends, family, and like-minded people worldwide. As of June 2017, Facebook has over 2 billion monthly active users. It has been declared as the world’s most popular social networking site.
The usage of Facebook varies greatly across the countries of the world with countries with greater internet access or high populations having more active Facebook users. So, presented below are the countries with the highest number of Facebook users:
India And The US: Differing By Only A Million
India has managed to replace the US at the top position in 2017 by registering a Facebook active user count of 241 million. The US trails behind with an active user count of 240 million. Both the countries have exhibited an impressive growth in the number of Facebook users since the beginning of 2017. However, according to a new report, the number of users in India is growing at a rate that is over two times as fast as they are in the US.
Active Facebook users in India have grown by over 27% in the first six months of 2017 compared to the US that has registered a growth of only 12% over the same period of time.
Despite the large figures of India, one must note that the social media penetration in the country is still quite low with only 19% of the populations of the nation using Facebook as of June 2017. In the US, however, social media penetration is way higher at 73% of the country’s population.
Both the top 2 countries with highest Facebook users also exhibit a stark difference in their gender-based usage. While three-quarters of India’s Facebook users are males, in the US, 54% of the active users of the platform are women. Also, in India, over half the number of active Facebook users include youth below the age of 25.
Social-media Savvy Brazil
The most populous nation of South America, Brazil is also emerging as one of the biggest ‘Facebook’ countries. 79% of the nation's internet users are also using online social media. The country has 139 million active Facebook users. The average time spent by Brazilians on Facebook has also increased by 208%. The country holds the potential to become the social media capital of the world if its social media usage continues to increase at the present rate.
Why China, The World’s Most Populous Nation, Is Out Of The List?
Following the July 2009 Ürümqi riots in China, the country turned out the lights on the social media platform. Facebook was the subject of China’s wrath when it was found that the Xinjiang independence activists participating in the riots were using Facebook as one of their communications networks. The country’s people now depend on the social network Renren that complies with the PRC Government regulations of content filtering for their online social media needs. Facebook is, however, not blocked in Macau or Hong Kong which are popular destinations for international tourists.
Future Of Facebook
It is predicted that with the growing access of the world’s population to the internet, the number of Facebook users will also multiply in the coming years. Also, with the launch of newer social media platforms, the website will face some competition too. Hence, Facebook will need to evolve to keep the users interested in the website and to encourage newer users to register to the website.
The complete list of the world’s top 10 Facebook using countries are presented in the table below.