Facebook is huge – in its membership base, global scope, popularity, and most importantly, marketing potential. Being present on Facebook is essential for businesses today. So, it’s helpful to know some background information about the social network.

In this article, I present 50 amazing facts that will shock and surprise you about the world’s most popular social networking site.

Facebook membership base, usage, and growth

1. Facebook has 845 million monthly active users globally (December 2011), half of them logging on daily.

2. Facebook has 483 million daily users globally (December 2011), a 48% increase from the previous year.

3. Mobile accounts for half of Facebook’s user base, with 425 million active monthly users (December 2011).

4. Mobile monthly active users grew 21% over the last four months.

5. People that use Facebook on their mobile devices are twice as active on Facebook than non-mobile users.

6. Globally, 1 in 13 people are on Facebook.

7. People aged 35+ represent more than 30% of the entire user base.

8. The oldest person ever on Facebook was Ivy Bean of Bradford, at age of 102.

9. 57% of users are female.

10. In 20 minutes: 1,000,000 links are shared on Facebook, 1,484,000 event invites are posted, 1,323,000 photos are tagged, 1.972 million friend requests are accepted, 2,716,000 photos are uploaded, and  2,716,000 messages are sent.

11. 48% of young Americans find out about news through Facebook.

12. 48% of people aged 18 to 34 check Facebook as soon as they wake up.

13. The average user has 130 friends.

14. There are more than 100 billion friend connections on Facebook (December 2011).

15. Facebook is the most popular photo-sharing service. Over 250 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every day.

16. There are 2.7 billion ‘likes’ and comments per day (Q4 of 2011).

17. There are over 37 million pages with ten or more ‘likes’.

18. People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook.

19. An average time of 20 minutes is spent per visit to Facebook.

20. The average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events.

21. The average user creates 90 pieces of content each month.

22. 10,000 new websites integrate with Facebook via social plug-ins every day since April 2010.

23. Facebook removes approximately 20,000 profiles from the site every day since March 2011.

Infographic of Facebook's growing global reach

The US, UK and Indonesia are leading users of Facebook.

Facebook financials and ownership

24. Facebook filed its intention to be traded on the public markets in an IPO that could value at $100 billion.

25. Facebook made $3.7 billion in revenue and $1 billion in profit in 2011. Google’s revenue was 10 times higher, at $37b. Facebook expects its growth rates to level off. Between 2009 and 2010 revenue grew 154% and grew 88% between 2010 and 2011.

26. Zynga accounts for 12.5 percent of Facebook’s revenue.

27. Facebook makes most of its money through ads. But this proportion has declined from 98% in 2009, to 95% in 2010, to 85% in 2011.

28. Although Mark Zuckerberg (founder and CEO of Facebook) calls himself a “Harvard Graduate”, he did not actually graduate.

29. Owning 25% of the company, Mark Zuckerberg is worth about $25 billion on paper.

30. Mark Zuckerberg’s base salary is $500,000. Sheryl Sandberg made $200k less. From 1st January 2013, Mark Zuckerberg’s salary will go from $500,000 to $1 per year.

31. Facebook was initially bank-rolled by Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal, for $500,000.

Facebook’s global ambitions

32. 71.2 % of all US internet users are on Facebook. The United States has the largest Facebook user base, representing 23.6% of the site´s total users. This means that about 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States.

33. Australians spend more time on Facebook than any other country, at over 7 hours per month on average.

34. Facebook has ambitious goals: “There are more than two billion global Internet users…we aim to connect all of them”. And they are making good progress in working towards them: Facebook has higher than 80% penetration rates in Chile, Turkey and Venezuela; higher than 60% penetration rates in the U.K. and the U.S; and 20% to 30% penetration rates in Brazil, Germany and India.

35. But Facebook has been blocked in China, Vietnam, Iran, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Syria and Bangladesh. In China, penetration is 0%. Facebook does not plan on entering China.

36. Brazil represents the biggest growth region for Facebook (37 million users at the end of 2011, an increase of 268% over the year before). India comes second (46 million users, an increase of 132% over the previous year).

37. Facebook is available in 70 different languages.

38. Over 300,000 users helped translate the site through the translations application.

39. In 2011, an Egyptian baby was named “Facebook” to commemorate the key role Facebook played in Egypt’s revolution.

40. An Israeli couple named their daughter after the Facebook ‘like’ feature on 16th May 2011 because they like the meaning behind the word.

Infographic showing the percentage of population using Facebook on six continents

Whilst Facebook has achieved huge penetration worldwide, usage of the network varies across different continents.

Other curious facts

41. Al Pacino’s face was on the original Facebook homepage.

42. One of Facebook’s early functions was a file sharing service.

43. The meaning of the term poke has never been defined.

44. There is an ‘App’ to see what’s on the Facebook cafe menu.

45. A Facebook employee hoodie sold for $4,000 on eBay.

46. ‘The Social Network’ (a film about the founding of Facebook) won several prominent awards at the 68th Golden Globe Awards, British Academy Film Awards and 83rd Academy Awards in 2011.

47. Facebook profile reunites lost family members. For example, Tony Macnauton (father) met his daughter (Frances Simpson) after 48 years.

48. Frito-Lay potato chips official Facebook page created a new world record where over 1.5 million new fans joined its profile page in 24 hour on 11th April 2011.

49. Facebook is concerned about PR. Negative publicity is listed as a risk factor by the company. They note that bad press about its privacy practices, products, litigation and regulatory matters could have a detrimental impact on the size, engagement, and loyalty of its user base.

50. Facebook was almost shut down by a lawsuit by ConnectU who claimed that Zuckerberg stole the idea and Technology for Facebook.

Do you know any interesting facts about Facebook not mentioned here? Share your insights in the comments.

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