State of Facebook: 70% use a mobile device to access Facebook

According to Facebook’s most recent 2013 Q2 SEC filing, the number of daily active users is now 699 million, spread out over Europe, Asia, and the Americas in roughly equal amounts:

Facebook - Quarterly Report

Facebook’s monthly active users count is now at 1.155 billion people. Note that Asia, Africa, and other parts of the world are where their sharpest growth in user base is, and that Asia now outweighs the Americas and Europe in terms of audience size. If you thought Facebook was just an American thing, it really isn’t. Look how fast and strong Asia and other parts of the world are growing their Facebook audueinces:

Facebook - Quarterly Report

Facebook also reports that its mobile user base has increased by a whopping 9.1% (which is a lot when you’re talking about these sizes of audiences):

Facebook - Quarterly Report

Here’s what you can’t see with the naked eye from these reports. Facebook’s mobile user base has exploded in just three years. How much? Look at the percentage increases of mobile users as a part of total users (with the caveat that mobile is a subset of total, not mutually exclusive)

Microsoft Excel

In just three years, the number of people accessing Facebook on a mobile device at least once a month has more than doubled.

Today, 70% – 7 out of 10 Facebook users access the service via a mobile device at least some of the time.

Here’s the data point you have to dig through previous filings to get at, because no one still charts it.. This is the number of mobile ONLY users, people who access Facebook solely through a mobile device, as a percentage of all Facebook users:

Microsoft Excel

Nearly 1 in 5 people, almost 20%, use Facebook JUST on a mobile device without a desktop. (You’ll find this buried in the text of every quarterly filing in the mobile MAU section, if you want to dig for it yourself.)

Facebook is growing its audience about 4% quarter over quarter. Its mobile audience is growing at double that pace as a percentage of total users, about 9% quarter over quarter. Its mobile-only audience is growing about 16% quarter over quarter.

Microsoft Excel

Something of note: look how fast the adoption rates are slowing for the mobile segments. It appears that Facebook may be achieving saturation in the mobile markets. Time will tell if that’s true but it feels about right – when 70% of your audience is using a mobile device at least some of the time, there isn’t room for continuing increases in growth.

Here’s the bottom line: if you’re in public relations or marketing, not only is Facebook a mandatory part of your strategy, but Facebook’s mobile services must be part of that strategy if you want to remain relevant to the Facebook audience as it grows. You should be experimenting with every mobile format Facebook gives you to see what works, since saturation is nearing.

Christopher S. Penn
Vice President, Marketing Strategy

Disclosure: All data was obtained from Facebook’s publicly filed SEC documents. No other data source was used.

Work at SHIFT

Posted on July 26, 2013 in Advertising, Facebook, Marketing, Social Media

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About the Author

Christopher S. Penn is an authority on digital marketing and marketing technology. A recognized thought leader, author, and speaker, he has shaped three key fields in the marketing industry: Google Analytics adoption, data-driven marketing and PR, and email marketing. Known for his high-octane, here’s how to get it done approach, his expertise benefits companies such as Citrix Systems, McDonald’s, GoDaddy, McKesson, and many others. His latest work, Leading Innovation, teaches organizations how to implement and scale innovative practices to direct change. Christopher is a highly-sought keynote speaker thanks to his energetic, informative talks. In 2015, he delivered insightful, innovative talks on all aspects of marketing and analytics at over 30 events to critical acclaim. He is a founding member of IBM’s Watson Analytics Predictioneers, co-founder of the groundbreaking PodCamp Conference, and co-host of the Marketing Over Coffee marketing podcast. Christopher is a Google Analytics Certified Professional and a Google AdWords Certified Professional. He is the author of over two dozen marketing books including bestsellers such as Marketing White Belt: Basics for the Digital Marketer, Marketing Red Belt: Connecting With Your Creative Mind, and Marketing Blue Belt: From Data Zero to Marketing Hero.
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