Eighty per cent of Facebook users now live outside the United States and Asia is one of the fastest growing Facebook markets. Of Facebook’s 845 million monthly active users by the end of December last year, 212 million were in Asia, up from just 62 million at the end of 2009. So one out of four Facebook users is now in Asia.
The Menlo Park, California, based company plans to expand further in Asia, especially in countries like India, Japan and South Korea. India is the only country where Facebook has a regional centre outside the United States and Ireland. “Users are generally restricted from accessing Facebook from China,” Facebook says in its registration statement filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering.
Facebook has 179 million monthly active users in the United States and Canada, up from 112 million in 2009. In Europe, the number of monthly active users has grown from 117 million to 229 million during the same period. In the rest of the world, the number has gone up from 69 million to 225 million.
Facebook grew exponentially in India where it had 46 million monthly active users by the end of last year, a 132 per cent increase over the previous year, and in Brazil, where the number went up to 37 million, rising 268 per cent. Facebook said it had 161 million active users in the United States, up 16 per cent from the previous year.
So growth has been stronger in Asia and the rest of the world than in Europe and America. Facebook has a higher penetration rate in countries like Turkey, Chile and Venezuela, where it is accessed by more than 80 per cent of the internet users, than in the United States and the United Kingdom, where it estimates it has a penetration rate of 60 per cent.
But Europe has the largest number of daily active Facebook users – 143 million or 30 per cent of the total – followed by the United States and Canada, which together have 126 million, or 26 per cent. Facebook has 483 million daily active users. So more than half of Facebook’s 845 million monthly active users – 57 per cent, in fact – access the site daily. Asia has 105 million daily active users (22 per cent of the total) and the rest of the world 109 million (also 22 per cent).
In its registration statement filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering, Facebook says:
We had 845 million MAUs globally with approximately 80% accessing Facebook from outside the United States as of December 31, 2011. We continue to focus on growing our user base across all geographies, including relatively less-penetrated, large markets such as Brazil, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, and South Korea…
We have operations teams to provide support for our users, developers, and advertisers in four regional centers located in Menlo Park, California; Austin, Texas; Dublin, Ireland; and Hyderabad, India.
Facebook is nothing if not ambitious. It says:
There are more than two billion global Internet users, according to an industry source, and we aim to connect all of them. We have achieved varying levels of penetration within the population of Internet users in different countries. For example, in countries such as Chile, Turkey, and Venezuela we estimate that we have penetration rates of greater than 80% of Internet users; in countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States we estimate that we have penetration rates of approximately 60%; in countries such as Brazil, Germany, and India we estimate that we have penetration rates of approximately 20-30%; in countries such as Japan, Russia, and South Korea we estimate that we have penetration rates of less than 15%; and in China, where Facebook access is restricted, we have near 0% penetration.