Written by 5ivecanons Staff
Social media has changed the way people communicate. Facebook, the industry titan with over 1 billion active monthly users, is partially responsible.
Facebook has so many active monthly users that its 1 billion users are more than twice the size of Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+ combined.
According to Yahoo Finance, at the end of 2004, Facebook had 1 million users; in 2005 that number jumped to 5.5 million users. Today, that number sits at an astonishing 1.01 billion active users. For context, that is more people than the population of the United States, Mexico, Russia, Brazil, France, and Spain combined.
The average Facebook user visits the site 40 times per month.
According to Facebook data, approximately 57% of its users are female, 9% of its users have less than a high school diploma, 10% have a high school diploma, 24% have some college, and 57% have a bachelors degree or higher. The income disparity for Facebook users is 9% of users make between 0-$24,999, 33% between $25,000-$49,999, 47% between $50,000-$99,999, and 11% make over $100,000 annually. The average Facebook user visits the site 40 times per month, and they will spend on average, 23 minutes and 22 seconds on each visit.
Facebook has never been afraid to make changes to its site to stay relevant. When it first rolled out to a select number of colleges, it was called “Thefacebook,” and it was described as simple. At that point in time, a user could only be connected to a single network such as “school” and there were no social applications; all the information was set on your default page. Simple.
Facebook’s evolution has come a long way. They have unrolled a mini-feed (2006), upgraded to making the feed the featured part of the page (2008), added a photo bar and changed the profile photo from the right side of the page to the left (2010) and introduced the timeline (2011).
From a personal standpoint, Facebook is a different site altogether from when it first started. Today, you can poke, instant message, send invitations, plan parties, send virtual livestock, get up-to-the-minute news, play games, sell items, and countless other fun changes. From a business standpoint, Facebook opened up an entire new market for companies.
Early on, companies started creating profiles and allowed for that to be a way to get social media reach. Advertisements are another way for businesses to promote themselves on the social media giant.
Quite possibly the best type of campaign for businesses is utilizing check-ins for Facebook. We ran a check-in promotion via facebook for a local Chick-fil-a where the customer checked in and received a free chicken sandwich. The promotion drove online consumer engagement up by 280%, increased Facebook fans by 25% and increased sales by 10%. We also had over one million impressions on the targeted Facebook ad campaign, which was clearly the driving force behind the engagement spike. The campaign was an enormous success, marking the first time any company had run a geo-social, mobile promotion that turns customers into the advertising message.
When you are the most popular brand in your industry, there is nowhere to go but down, and that is what many people suspect will happen to Facebook. A large threat looming is the next “big idea” to come along and sweep Facebook away. At one point Myspace was the industry leader, but with Facebook’s growing popularity the aging site is now trying to reinvent itself to merely stay current.
Today, other sites such as Twitter (140 million users), LinkedIn (175 million users), Google+ (100 million active users), and the fastest growing social media site, Pinterest (25 million users), threaten Facebook’s crown. While none of these sites are poised to come anywhere near Facebook’s unprecedented 1 billion users anytime soon, mergers and acquisitions could upset the balance down the road.
The biggest threat to Facebook however looks to be backlash from users over privacy concerns. With internet users’ growing concern over their private information, sites such as Facebook are extremely vulnerable to user backfire. Users’ most recent concern has been focused on breaches of “private” messages. Claim-makers stated that Facebook was scanning private user messages to see if they matched with pages that those users had “liked.”
For the immediate future (1-3 years), Facebook is poised to remain an industry giant. Long term however, remains to be seen; they’ve only been around for eight years, and have already passed the 1 billion user plateau. While they have the following that it takes for sustained success, if concerns over privacy are not taken care of, people will start jumping ship to other social media sites.
Find out how using Facebook can help grow your business. Hire us.