Study of 500 million people

Facebook recently announced that it has touched 500 million members. That’s a huge number by any measure! Facebakers and Mashable did an infographic breakdown of the user numbers. We are going to do a quick analysis. How will that help you? If you are an advertiser looking to advertise on Facebook or an application developer looking to create a Facebook app, this article should help you figure out what kind of ads you should place and which geographic areas you should target.

A quick breakdown

Facebook reports that out of its 500 million active users, more than 250 million log in every day. Further, more than 150 million users use Facebook on their mobile phone. Facebook is growing as a marketing platform with more than 1 million blog owners having integrated Facebook with their sites (the Facebook Share and Like buttons).


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Nearly 129 million of these users are from the United States. US also has the oldest average age. US also has a lot more female users than male users (71 million vs 58 million). Nearly 50% of these 129 million users are between the ages of 18 and 34 and 65% users are older than 25. This group of mature users is important because that is the one with the highest disposable income. If you are looking to sell something, there are nearly 84 million users in the US who you can market to. Denmark (2.5 million users) and Canada (15.7 million users) are the next two oldest countries, in that order.

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Looking away from the US, Philippines is the fastest growing country, as are Indonesia, Italy and India. Indonesia also registers as the youngest country. This makes it an interesting proposition. Young users (68% Indonesian users below 24) readily click on ads that seem interesting to them, but they can’t (or don’t) buy anything. Even among the older age groups, Asians are especially difficult to convince when it comes to whipping out their credit cards. Targeting Indonesia is a good idea if you are looking to get people to download stuff. But if you looking to sell things, you will find lesser users. Displaying an ad to Indonesian users also costs a lot lesser than displaying it o US users ($0.08 CPC vs $0.46 CPC).

Other notable trends

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In general, most Facebook users lie in the 18-34 age group. You could design a product for this group or try to find your niche outside this group. Asian countries have the lowest CPC, while US ($0.46), Canada ($0.28), UK ($0.70) and European countries have a pretty high CPC. The high CPCs are covered by the readiness of users from these countries to spend more on products if they find them useful.

Also, of the four top fastest growing companies, Indonesia has the highest penetration (83%) while India has the lowest (14%). This means that Indonesia is nearing its peak capacity while India is rapidly growing, a great opportunity if you are looking to build an application.

Summarizing the report here, we find that US is probably the best place to advertise through Facebook. UK would have been a better place had it not been for the extremely high CPC. If you are looking to build an application or get users to download stuff, India, which will probably continue to remain the fastest growing nation, is a good nation to target. To conduct your own comprehensive study, visit