With Facebook recently passing 175 million users, I decided to update my analysis of its user base. The weekly growth in number of users has remained steady, with the last 5 weeks being exceptionally strong: Facebook added over 25 million users since early February. The share of U.S. users inched up slightly from 30% to 31%.
The company added users in all regions but compared to my analysis in early December, growth accelerated in Asia and North America. Note that the number of users in Asia remains small compared to other social networks in the region. The number of users from Canada still exceeds the total in all of Asia (still under 10 million). Within Asia, the fastest-growing countries over the last 12 weeks were Indonesia (up 169%) and the Philippines (up 119%). (For reasons as to how Facebook has expanded in specific countries, I encourage Radar readers to share their thoughts in the comments.)
Europe and South America both experienced double-digit growth rates over the last 12 weeks, but compared to last December, Facebook grew much slower in both regions. A third of all users (33%) now come from Europe. Among the smaller countries in Europe, Facebook grew fastest in the Czech Republic (up 144%) and Slovakia (up 137%). Among the larger European countries, growth was fastest in Italy (up 71%), Spain (up 66%), and Germany (up 48%).
With such a large user base, the company continues to attract application developers to its platform. The number of active Facebook apps continues to grow but at a much slower rate, roughly 2% per week over the last 12 weeks. (For this analysis, I define a Facebook app to be active if it had at least 100 active users.) The graph below compares the relative size of the Facebook, Myspace, and iPhone application platforms:
I used a different definition of what constitutes an active app for each of the three platforms depending on what data is available — so strictly speaking direct comparisons are not appropriate. I still find it interesting that even with the stricter definition of active, Facebook dwarfs the Myspace platform and far outnumbers the number of apps in the U.S. iTunes app store. For some context on the relative size of the iPhone platform: I recently tweeted that the number of apps that have appeared in iTunes has surpassed 25K, but the number of actives in the most recent week was roughly 18K.
I close with an update of age and gender statistics by region. Europe and South America continue to add teens (13-17) and college-age (18-25) users at a faster rate than North America. Compared to my post in December, North American growth in the 45-54 age group jumped from 47% to 88%. Facebook continued to post strong growth among working age (26-65) North Americans with the share of users in the 26-54 age bracket increasing from 39% in early December, to 46%.
Growth in Asia was strong in all age groups, while the number of U.S. users aged 45-65 more than doubled. Compared to last December, growth has slowed in the Middle East & North Africa, but the share of teen users grew from 14% to 17% of all users in the region. The fastest growing countries in the Middle East /N. Africa were Tunisia (up 92%) and Morocco (up 40%). With just over 9.8M users, Turkey is home to 69% of users in the region — only the U.S., the U.K, and Canada have more Facebook users.
There has been a dramatic change in the age-distribution in the U.S. Within the U.S. the share of users in the 26-54 age bracket rose from 35% in early December to 47%, and the share of college-age users (18-25) fell from 46% to 38%.
Even as the company adds millions of members, the gender split persists from week-to-week: M (44%), F (51%), Decline To State (5%).
Regionally, women outnumber men in all but the following regions: Asia, Africa, and especially in the Middle East /North Africa.