Wednesday, April 08, 2009

200M Facebook users and a whole heap of secrets

Via Techcrunch it turns out Facebook is now claiming MORE THAN 200M ACTIVE users, with the fastest growing demographic in the over 35s (almost literally everyone and their mother is now on Facebook).

The average user has 120 friends (helpful for those of us calculating the eyeball-focused numbers required of 'reach' in social media.

Half (100M) log in every day and one in ten update their status every day.
Which, I guess means on average 60 of your friends log in each day to see up to 12 status updates from the rest of your friends each day.

And that leaves 90M social netlurkers (as Iain Harrison neatly put it) popping in for a lurk at what their friends are up to each day. If they contributed we'd have a little more for everyone.

All of these big numbers mean its increasingly important to brands and organisations to understand what people are saying about them in this big old bruiser of a social network - which is of course pretty much hidden away in Facebook's password protected vaults (which won't help the user if their preference is to publish in a brand's face).

Even tracking the relatively public formation of groups and pages is a challenge. It requires a human to log in, conduct a search, note and sift the old and the new etc.

For my part, right now, I'd find it really useful if there was at least an automated way in which I could get alerts when a new group or fan page is created relating to my choice of keywords.

If anyone has put together a way of delivering that, please let me know. If not, watch this space.

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The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?