A Religion called Facebook
Almost one third of humanity has an account on the social network that is more popular than any existing religion.
There are a few things that are shared by a third of humanity. There are very few trends that are spread across so many countries.
Not even Christianity or Islam are so expanded as Facebook is. No language or culture is spoken of so widely.
If the previous facts are not scary enough, let’s me throw another one out there: Despite its recent scandals, Facebook is well on its way to growing even bigger.
Facebook offers data by continents or by age groups, but it is the first time that a study provides how influential this social network actually is.
New data collected about the influence of Facebook worldwide shows it’s power in numbers, by country, age groups, and gender and of the daily or monthly use that account holders make of it.
Facebook is in more than 200 countries, except in cases like Iran, Syria, North Korea or China, where it is banned.
It has millions of followers in Africa and Central Asia.
In developed countries, it does not show any serious symptoms of tiredness or a marked decrease in use. Its stability is a constant.
Facebook is an active and healthy network because it still has some capacity for growth and because people who have been using it for years continue to do so.
Facebook offers its advertisers an application with hundreds of personal and geographical options to choose from as a potential audience.
Researchers created a program that told the application that they were going to place an ad, for example in France, and they wanted to know how many users there were in the country.
Today, Facebook shows low to moderate growth in most of the countries analyzed.
The study was done for 17 months and was divided into two stages between 2015 and 2018. The article that presents the data is in its second peer revision.
The work allowed researchers to observe the depth of Facebooks tools when cataloging its users. The network allows choosing them to select them not only according to their place of residence but also according to places they’ve been to recently.
Authors have used the place of residence label to define the country of origin.
Facebook in Africa
In most African and Central Asian countries, Facebook has a penetration of less than 30% in people over 13 years of age, the legal minimum to register on the network.
However, to keep growing, Facebook needs more potential users in those countries. It needs the internet to reach more places. Thus, the company invests in infrastructure for the Internet in Africa and in other developing countries.
Since 2015, Facebook’s main tool has been Free Basics, an application that gives access, without paying for mobile data, to a selection of websites without photos or videos in dozens of countries.
In September, Facebook announced an agreement with The Internet Society to bring Internet Exchange Points (IXP) to African countries that still have to rely on infrastructure beyond their borders to offer access.
Dependency on this infrastructure caused bad connections, so Facebook invested to reach new hundreds of millions of users.
In developing countries, Facebook grows more in urban areas with a lot of employed people, which is their fishing ground for potential users, says Ángel Cuevas, a researcher who participated in the study.
In advanced countries, meanwhile, Facebook has peaked but is not in decline.
Norway is probably the country with the most access to Facebook in the world: only 12% of the population does not have an account and the rest, 76% is a daily user.
Sweden and Denmark move show similar figures.
In southern Europe, Italy and Portugal are the most active countries: 30% of citizens over 13 do not have an account, but 70% of those who do have one use it every day.
Spain is slightly below, with 65% of active users and slightly more than 30% of those over 13 without an account.
In the United States, where users are the ones who earn the most from advertising on Facebook, only 11% of people over 13 do not have Facebook, although only 66% enter daily.
In July 2018 Facebook declared that it had 1.4 billion active users worldwide, although that number varies depending on who you ask.
Facebook has an almost monopolistic strength and a seemingly endless domain that was not affected by Cambridge Analytica crises, the so-called fake news or violence in countries in Asia or Africa.
Researchers recognize that Facebook reigns today, but that many social networks have come and gone. Among them are MySpace and Orkut.
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Luis R. Miranda is an award-winning journalist and the founder & editor of The Real Agenda News. His career spans over 23 years in every form of news media. He writes about environmentalism, education, technology, science, health, immigration and other current affairs. Luis has worked as on-air talent, news reporter, television producer, and news writer.