So... Facebook? Everyone heard of it, everyone knows it, but does everyone use it? Most of your friends do, right? But besides your friends? Who uses it? More people than you'd expect apparently.

But first, let's start with some interesting facts about Facebook. Copied shamelessly from their press releases.

  • More than 500 million active users
  • Average user has 130 friends
  • About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States
  • Average user creates 90 pieces of content each month
  • Every month, more than 70% of Facebook users engage with Platform applications
  • More than one million developers and entrepreneurs from more than 180 countries
  • More than one million websites have integrated with Facebook Platform
  • There are more than 150 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices.
  • People that use Facebook on their mobile devices are twice as active on Facebook than non-mobile users.

Source: Facebook

Those are absolutely mind-boggling numbers. 500 million users. If Facebook were a country, it would be the third most populated country in the world, behind China and India. If the average user makes 90 pieces of content per month (Status updates, pictures, video's, etc...), a simple calculation would lead us to almost 45 billion pieces of content per month. That's a very large amount of traffic generated.

Exactly how much traffic?
While I couldn't find any hard numbers, I did found out that Facebook is one of the most visited websites on the web. Only google is still ahead of it. But facebook is without a doubt the single fastest growing website in the world.

Click the image for a larger view.

While these stats are a little bit outdated by now, Facebook traffic leveled out and stays just below Google most of the time, it's still a remarkable feat. Facebook took up a spot right between Google and YouTube, two of the most well-known websites around.
Marketeers have taken notice of this as well. Facebook and Google generate similar traffic, but the former is a lot cheaper to advertise on, and easier to advertise to specific target-groups.

But where does this immense growth come from? It seems as if every young person is already on Facebook. And older people don't use Facebook, right?

Well, let's take a look at the following statistics of facebook usage in the US.

Click the image for a larger view.

We can clearly see that young people aren't the majority anymore. While they were the largest group in 2009, they have since been overtaken by people above 35. The 55+ age-group even grew exponentially. There are almost as many seniors on facebook as there are minors nowadays. There's no doubt anymore that facebook became a social networking site for people of all ages. Not just young people.

Facebook is more than just a temporary phenomenon, it overtook the previous leader in Social Networking Sites, Myspace, a little bit more than a year ago and has kept growing and growing. And there's no end in sight yet.

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