Believe it or not, Facebook is now 12 years old. Given its age and its ubiquity, you might think there is nothing left to learn about Mark Zuckerberg’s dorm room project.
You’d be wrong.
Here are ten fascinating facts and figures you probably don’t know about the world’s most popular social network.
1. Almost One Third of the World’s Population Has an Account
According to the New Statesman, the company has more than two billion registered users. That’s 28.5 percent of the world’s seven billion inhabitants, and 66 percent of the world’s estimated three billion Internet users.
Going a step further, Facebook themselves say they now have 1.04 billion daily active users and 1.59 billion monthly active users (correct as of December 2015), with more than 90 percent of those users arriving from mobile devices.
2. It’s an Internet Granddad
As mentioned in the introduction, Facebook first hit our computers in February 2004. At first it was only available to college students, but by September 2006 it was open to anyone older than 13.
Its twelve active years mean it’s virtually ancient in online terms.
In fact, when it launched there was no Gmail (launched in April 2004), no YouTube (2005), no Reddit (2005), no Twitter (2006), no Spotify (2008), and no WhatsApp (2009).
All of which begs the question – what on earth did we used to share on Facebook?! (Answer: probably cats, they’ve been around for longer!)
3. Female Users Outnumber Male Users
According to an article on Mashable, around 58 percent of Facebook users are female, compared to 42 percent of male users.
A higher female user-base is a trend that’s reflected across all the social media networks. For example, 64 percent of Twitter users are female and a mammoth 82 percent of Pinterest users are female.
Women are also more active on Facebook. The same piece of research suggests 18 percent of the female users will post a status update at least once per day, compared with just 11 percent of male users.
4. Small Businesses Lag Behind Big Businesses
You would think that lots of small business would be desperate to have a Facebook page. If offers a way to easily reach their market and in many cases can serve as a replacement for an actual website.
The figures suggest that is not the case.
ExpandedRamblings claim that only 41 percent of small U.S. businesses (less than 100 employees) have a Facebook page, whereas almost 85 percent of businesses with more than 100 employees have a page.
The big outlier is fashion brands – a staggering 99 percent of U.S.-based labels now have a Facebook presence.
5. The Most Liked Page on Facebook is Run By… Facebook
Lady Gaga and Barack Obama eat your heart out.
The page was created in 2011, and at the time of writing has almost 510 million likes. That figure means it has more likes than the rest of the top five combined (Facebook (170 million), Cristiano Ronaldo (110 million), Shakira (105 million), and Vin Diesel (97 million)).
Eminem, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Lionel Messi, and Rihanna round out the top ten.
6. Facebook Messenger Blows Instagram Out of the Water
Although lots of people can’t quite get their heads around why Facebook decided to split its messaging feature into a separate app in 2011, its ongoing success means there seems to be little chance of the network reversing its decision.
People now use the Messenger app to send more than 9.5 billion photos every month; that’s approximately eight times more than the number posted on the photograph-focused network Instagram in the same period.
It’s unlikely Facebook will be too concerned – they bought Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion, giving them an unbreakable stranglehold on the photo-sharing sector.
7. Users Are Ignorant About Their Privacy
Your online privacy is something to be understood and taken seriously. Sadly, despite endless media warnings, it seems a lot of users are very uneducated about Facebook’s privacy terms and its associated settings.
NextAdvisor recently published an infographic on their website, and some of its findings are worrying.
Apparently, half of all users have never used the “view as” feature to find out which of their posts are public, 39 percent don’t review posts they are tagged in before allowing them on their wall, and 61 percent don’t know that third-party apps can have access to their accounts.
Of course, it doesn’t help that Facebook’s privacy policies change as frequently as the weather.
8. The Putnam Easter Egg
Facebook is no stranger to Easter Eggs.
Back in its early days the site was littered with movie references and quotes (Zuckerberg is reportedly a big film lover), and it was possible to enter the “Konami Code” (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, Enter) to change the color of the background.
Nowadays most of the eggs have been removed, but the Putnam emoji remains.
For those who don’t know, Chris Putnam was a hacker who wrote a computer virus that spread across Facebook in 2005. His escapade earned him a job at the company, and he’s still there to this day.
Just enter :Putnam: into the chat box and you’ll get Chris Putnam’s severed head on your screen! Useful? Maybe not…
9. $4,000 for a Hoodie
We’ve all heard of sports memorabilia and celebrities’ possessions being sold for a small fortune, but Facebook hoodies being sold for four figures is a whole new level of crazy.
The hoodie in question featured the same design as the one Zuckerberg wore to the D8 Conference in 2010, and it became available on eBay in that same summer.
Social Times say there were more than 48 bids on the item when the auction eventually closed.
10. How Many Friends is “Too Many”?
Big Think say that the average user now has 338 friends on the network, but the median is around the 200 mark.
That means that although half of all users have less than 200 friends, some have considerably more (15 percent of users have more than 500).
Research suggests you shouldn’t have more than 150 friends to use the network effectively, though Facebook’s capacity will actually let you add up to 5,000.
Your Fascinating Facts?
Which of our ten facts did you find most surprising? Perhaps you know some facts and figures to add to the list?
We’d love to hear from you. You can get in touch via the comments section below.