Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Facebook statistics - By the numbers

Facebook celebrated 500 million users yesterday. Here's some more stats to satisfy your desire for information about the big blue social network...

The average Facebook user:

Has 130 friends

Spends around 1250 minutes on Facebook per month.

Creates around 70 pieces of content (updates, links, comments) per month

Uploads five photographs per month

Watches 5.6 Facebook videos per month

In the United Kingdom:

There are 27,020,020 Facebook users (43.7 per cent of the total population)

The United Kingdom has the second highest number of Facebook users (5.54% of global audience)

51.8% are female (13,576 100) while 48.2% are male (12,626,280)

Most users in the UK are between 25 and 34 years old. (26.5% of UK national audience)

62.5% of the UK online population have a Facebook account

31 per cent of users state they're single

43 percent state they're engaged, married or in a relationship

Global users

70% of the Facebook audience come from outside the United States

The top ten audiences are from (in millions):

1. United States 128,936,800
2. United Kingdom 27,020,020
3. Indonesia 26,277,000
4. Turkey 22,924,780
5. France 19,351,420
6. Italy 16,858,340
7. Canada 15,756,400
8. Philippines 15,284,460
9. Mexico 13,788,560
10. India 11,534,480

Between 2009 and 2010, Taiwan was the fastest adopted of Facebook, registering a 884% growth of users over the period

If Facebook would be a country it would be the 3rd largest in the world

There are 65 million mobile users of Facebook worldwide

User behaviour per month

20 million videos are uploaded globally

More than 2 billion videos are viewed through Facebook's video format

Woman post 55% more content than men

The average user writes 25 comments and likes nine things

14 billion pieces of content are shared across the entire site

3.5 million events are created

1.6 billion status updates are made


20 million users like new pages every day

There are around 5.3 billion likes for pages across the site

There are 1.6 million active pages

There are 700,000 pages for local businesses

The average user likes 2 pages per month

The most popular pages relate to movies, television shows, books and bands

The least popular pages related to religion, pets and bars

The most popular brand pages on Facebook (globally) are:

Coca Cola
Red Bull

The most popular brand pages in the UK are:


The most popular pages on Facebook (globally) are:

Texas Hold'em Poker
Michael Jackson
Mafia Wars
Lady Gaga

Games and applications

There are over 550,000 active applications

55% of Facebook gamers are female

28% of all Facebook gamers have purchased in-game currency

The average gamer plays six social games

Of the 200 million users who log into Facebook every day, 15% play FarmVille

80 million users regularly play FarmVille each month

Zynga, FarmVille's creators, are responsible for five of the ten most popular Facebook games including Mafia Wars and Texas Hold'Em Poker

In 2009, Zynga's revenue was estimated at $270 million


*Disclaimer - I take no responsibility for incorrect stats or information.

Like Facebook? Try Twitter.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Smut, Twitter and you - Thoughts from Social Media Cafe

Tuesday's Social Media Cafe shone a light into the darkest corners of social media. It was a torch which illuminated the areas of Twitter and Facebook no one talks about in polite conversation; the seedy parts you wouldn't want your parents to see.

Local blogger Mindy Gofton brought an interesting discussion to the table. Her Manchester SEO company had recently acquired a contract for a firm which distributed, among other things, 'cheeky' e-cards. The debate focused on the ethics of promoting this type of blue content across social media and whether marketeers had a moral or ethical responsibility to shield the campaign from those who might deem it unsuitable.

But that's an issue for another blog post.

During the session, a conversation between Paul Greenhalgh and Gillian Donovan addressed an interesting point relating to the topic.

Were there any negative consequences for those who chose to follow these sorts of risqué accounts on Twitter?

It's a good question. The channel is notoriously public and, unless profiles are protected, anyone can access an account in order to see who is following who. Their conversation speculated whether it would be appropriate for relatives, friends or employers to discover you were following the profiles of Agent Provocateur or Nuts Magazine.

And people check to see who you're following; during the session, regular social media cafe attendee David Edmundson-Bird commented that he paid a special interest in the accounts his new followers were monitoring.

He isn't alone.

We all make assessments about people in the real world and our behaviour on social media is no different. When faced with a new Twitter profile, users make an assessment about character based on the relatively little information given to them.

Indeed, looking at the types of accounts a user is following is one of the easiest ways to judge someone's personality. We all have our own personal tastes and, naturally, these tastes are echoed in the users we follow on Twitter. Whether you’re interested in SEO, Top Gear, football or cricket, it's more than likely that you're following accounts which compliment these hobbies.

However, an issue arises when you've got an interest which might not be considered so wholesome. Do you necessarily want to convey your fondness for alcohol, gambling or naughty pictures to the world via your follower choices? Probably not.

You have a reputation to consider.

If one thing came from this social media session, it's that taste and decency are subjective; what you may deem suitable for consumption may not be shared by another user.

Your reputation can easily be damaged by the appearance of a lingerie shop in your following list. And there are bigger issues to consider than ruffling some features; which employer wants to hire someone who spends their time reading updates written from behind a shelf of brassieres?

I'm aware that this line of argument may seem defeatist. Twitter is a wonderful channel for engaging with like-minded people. It's a service which enables users to discuss hobbies, chat about relevant topics and interact with people like themselves.

Surely, it defeats the point of social networks to suggest users filter their followers in order avoid offence or the merest suggestion of impropriety? If this were the case, Philip Schofield would be the only person with any followers.

Sadly, the reality of Twitter and its public nature means that, for the majority of the time, the person viewing your profile isn't going to share your own opinions. Especially those opinions relating to appropriate content. And, like it or not, they will use all the information available to form a judgement about you.

The only question is, what opinion would you like them to have?

Many thanks to Josh and Martin for organising another great Social Media Cafe.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Being human - five easy tips to make a company account more personal

Establishing an official company account on Twitter can be a tough job.

At its core, Twitter is a channel for social interaction and the majority of users are reluctant to follow an account which promotes a business. For many, Twitter isn't a site for business.

For most, the social network is a channel for talk; a place where people can find friends, share news and swap stories. It's a service which depends on conversation and, at first glance, a professional account can't hope to compete with the personal tales of mates and colleagues. Particularly when so many companies are reaffirming preconceptions of business on Twitter with banal and soulless updates. In short, users have a right to be sceptical.

With the odds stacked against them, it's imperative that corporate accounts offer as much personality as possible. Do away with the formal and bland; inject some humanity into your office feed with these five easy steps.

Provide a profile picture

Companies are often accused of being inhuman on Twitter; a robotic voice hiding behind a company logo. Combat this with a photograph.

One of the simplest ways to let people know that you're a living, breathing person is to add a snap of the account author in the profile box. It immediately establishes a connection with the audience and it's a lot easier for users to interact with someone if they know what they look like.

Take a look at Walrus Bar, Sweet Mandarin or Kelloggs for a good example of this.

Introduce yourself

People want to know who they're talking to.

Put your name in the profile biography so people can see who they're having a conversation with; users are far more likely to get involved with your brand or cause. Even if it's just a name or a reference to a personal Twitter account.

Take this example from the Creative Tourist team.

Introduce the team

If multiple employees are tweeting from the account, consider letting the audience know which person is responding at any one time. The simplest way to do this is to sign off each message with the author's initials.

A number of big brands do this very well, although a few Manchester Twitter accounts have also applied the strategy. Below, you can see the feed for local travel firm On The Beach.

Add your own design

Personalise your Twitter design with your own colours or branding; it'll go a long way in the quest to establish a personality. Add a background image and it'll give the account an individual character, making it more memorable.

Better yet, include a picture of life at the company (maybe a team photo or a shot of the company headquarters). This background space offers an opportunity to reveal the people behind the brand. Use it.

The Business Desk North West provide the following example.

Provide variety

Make sure your tweets offer a genuine insight into life as an employee at the company. Talk about your day, mention projects you are working on and share staff news. Include photographs of the team and link to relevant stories which you find interesting.

This insight offers users a human angle. Manchester Airport is a good place to start for an example of balancing work and play on Twitter.