Thirteen years after launching and less than five years after hitting the one billion mark (in October 2012), Facebook now has two billion monthly active users. In other words, more than 25% of the entire world’s population uses Facebook every month. Or to put it even more vividly for you, TechRadar’s Editor Matt Swider highlights: If this were 1927, 100% of the world's population would have Facebook.
Two billion active users makes Facebook the largest social networking platform in terms of logged-in users, followed closely by YouTube’s 1.5 billion and WeChat’s 889 million. Two decades ago, the notion that a single product would unite billions of humans would have been considered absolutely bonkers, except if the product in question were for example, a religious text. It’s no doubt that social media channels, particularly Facebook, is having a bourgeoning influence on people’s daily lives but where is all this unprecedented growth coming from?
Interestingly, this has largely been driven by the developing world as efforts have been made to make access to the internet easier. For example, the business has optimised its app for inexpensive Android smartphones and low-bandwidth connections. This alone has added 746 million users in Asia.
Despite this rapid rate of growth, Facebook has faced roadblocks – one of the biggest being China. There the social network is banned from tapping into the county’s connected population of over 700 million internet users. If Facebook ever gets into China, the three billion milestone will be achieved rapidly.
Zuckerberg’s other apps are faring well, with Facebook Messenger engaging over 1.2 billion monthly users and sister app, WhatsApp, which tallies a similar figure. It’s undeniable that this monumental growth is definitely one to keep an eye on – it has been on an upward trajectory since its launch in 2004 and it doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down any time soon. So what does this mean for brands?
It goes without saying that they need to engage with the Facebook community. While Facebook has been working on several initiatives to engage its users better, including videos and other interesting content, it’s been reported that the company is reaching a saturation point when it comes to display ads on its News Feed. To combat this, Facebook has created a new revenue stream by introducing Messenger ads this month.
With so many users online, some may argue that the advertising market is inundated and brands will find it all the more difficult to cut through the noise to reach its core audience group – but with the correct, hyper-targeted approach in place and a paid digital strategy which aligns to this, your brand can reach new communities and demographics. A Facebook strategy is no longer a ‘nice to have’.