10-year-old Facebook: Data

By Anne Collier

How could anybody so young have a following in every country on the planet? Facebook turns 10 today and – as of December 31 – has 1.23 billion active users, CNET reports. More than 750 million of them are active on the site daily.

Looking at US Facebook use, the Pew Internet Project provides even more insight in a blog post timed to the site’s birthday. Pew reports that 57% of US adults use Facebook, while almost three-quarters (73%) of 12-to-17-year-olds do, “and – though teens aren’t abandoning the site (yet, anyway) – “focus group interviews suggest that teens’ relationship with Facebook is complicated and may be evolving.”

The top 4 things users like about Facebook “photos and videos from friends (47% say that’s a major reason they use the site), the ability to share with many people at once (46%)” and tied for No. 3 at 39% each: friends’ updates and “humorous content.”

Ask permission, people!

As for what users don’t like about the site, it’s not “FOMO” (fear of missing out), Pew says. The two biggest dislikes users have about using Facebook are people sharing too much information about themselves and “others sharing things about you or posting pictures of you without your permission” (36% of survey respondents put “strongly dislike” next to both of these). Next, with 27% strongly disliking it, was “other people seeing posts or comments you didn’t mean for them to see,” followed by “temptation or pressure to share too much about yourself.” There are some good safety or privacy tips are implied here, no?

A few other highlights:

  • Lots of “friends”: “Half of all adult Facebook users [not just teens, parents] have more than 200 friends in their network.” This does not surprise greatly, though, when we consider that FB “friends” includes friends of friends, neighbors, acquaintances, relatives, people met at your last conference or concert, members of your book group, the babysitter, etc., etc.
  • “Likes” very well-liked: 44% of Facebook users “like” something at least once a day, 29% several times per day.
  • Comments too: 31% of users comment on other people’s photos daily, 15% several times a day.
  • Private messaging further down: 19% send private messages to friends daily, 10% multiple times a day.
  • Status updates LOW-priority: “10% change or update their own status on Facebook on a daily basis,” 4% several times a day, and a whole quarter of users “say that they never change or update their own Facebook status.”

Related links

  • Facebook celebrated its 10th by celebrating its users’ time on Facebook. It’s pretty extraordinary: With computer code, some music and the photos users post, FB creates 62-second personalized videos of hundreds of millions of users. Check out Facebook.com/lookback to view yours. See CNN for more.
  • The Washington Post on the first article ever written about Facebook (it was in the Harvard Crimson
  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s own look back over the first 10 years