Facebook makes for prime material to analyze the evolution of social media and how it caught on, building an audience in the billions.
First, here are some cool stats:
- Facebook has over 2.963 billion monthly active users as of January 2023
- There are over 2 billion people using Facebook daily as of January 2023
- 23.88% of India’s population uses Facebook, amounting to 329 million users, the highest from any country
- 71.43% of the entire US population is using Facebook, amounting to 239 million users
- About 67.5% of all monthly users are also active daily
- 71% of all Facebook users are using the platform for messaging friends and family
- From 2013 to 2017, Facebook’s userbase grew by an average of 15% annually
- At the beginning of 2011, Facebook had 372 million daily active users, while at the end of 2022, that number had grown to 2 billion, an increase of about 441%
- 56.3% of all Facebook users are male, and 43.7% are female as of January 2023
- Facebook’s DAU/MAU Ratio is ~67.49% as of Q4 2022)
As you’ll soon see, Facebook’s story is one of consistency rather than dramatic upshifts that may or may not be stable. The company has invested massively in features that stood the test of time and weren’t afraid to change things for the better.
Below, I’ll go over the company’s popularity, looking at its daily active users and monthly active users, analyzing user activity in certain regions, and offering other helpful stats that might give us more insight into Facebook’s success.
Keep reading for more details!
Daily Active Facebook Users Worldwide 2011-2022
First, we’ll take a look at the number of daily active Facebook users worldwide starting with 2011 and going through each quarter until Q4 of 2022, courtesy of Statista.
|Q1 DAU||372 million||526 million||665 million||802 million||936 million||1.09 billion||1.284 billion||1.449 billion||1.562 billion||1.734 billion||1.878 billion||1.96 billion|
|Q2 DAU||417 million||552 million||699 million||829 million||968 million||1.128 billion||1.325 billion||1.471 billion||1.587 billion||1.785 billion||1.908 billion||1.968 billion|
|Q3 DAU||457 million||584 million||728 million||864 million||1.007 billion||1.179 billion||1.368 billion||1.495 billion||1.623 billion||1.82 billion||1.93 billion||1.984 billion|
|Q4 DAU||483 million||618 million||757 million||890 million||1.038 billion||1.227 billion||1.4 billion||1.523 billion||1.657 billion||1.845 billion||1.929 billion||2 billion|
Looking at the chart above, you’ll notice that Facebook has been steadily gaining more and more users every quarter, never gaining too many users at once but never stopping the uptrend (except once).
It had some ups and downs in the percentage increase of users on a year-to-year basis, especially toward 2020+, with the difference between Q4 2021 and Q4 2022 being +3.7% in users, from 1.929 billion to 2 billion.
The trend might show that Facebook’s acquisition of users could reach a plateau soon where fewer users would be active daily on the platform. We’re not there yet, of course, and the uptrend could still continue in 2023.
If anything, we should believe that Facebook keeps welcoming new users to the platform with every passing year. There’s only been one instance when the number of daily active users has dropped (from Q3 2021 to Q4 2022 when it went down from 1.93 billion to 1.929 billion, a decline of 1 million daily active users).
Monthly Active Facebook Users Worldwide 2008-2022
Facebook’s MAU (Monthly Active Users) data should show us a similar uptrend as the DAU (Daily Active Users), but more interestingly, we’ll also calculate the ratio between DAU and MAU to give a score to Facebook.
First, here’s a chart with Facebook’s MAU numbers since 2008.
|Q1 MAU||197 million||431 million||680 million||901 million||1.110 billion||1.276 billion||1.441 billion||1.654 billion||1.936 billion||2.196 billion||2.375 billion||2.603 billion||2.853 billion||2.936 billion|
|Q2 MAU||242 million||482 million||739 million||955 million||1.155 billion||1.317 billion||1.49 billion||1.712 billion||2.006 billion||2.234 billion||2.414 billion||2.701 billion||2.895 billion||2.934 billion|
|Q3 MAU||100 million||305 million||550 million||800 million||1.057 billion||1.189 billion||1.35 billion||1.545 billion||1.788 billion||2.072 billion||2.271 billion||2.449 billion||2.740 billion||2.910 billion||2.958 billion|
|Q4 MAU||360 million (+83% from Q1)||608 million (+41% from Q1)||845 million (+24% from Q1)||1.056 billion (+17.2% from Q1)||1.228 billion (+10.63% from Q1)||1.393 billion (+9.16% from Q1)||1.591 billion (+10.4% from Q1)||1.86 billion (+12.45% from Q1)||2.129 billion (+9.96% from Q1)||2.320 billion (+5.64% from Q1)||2.498 billion (+5.17% from Q1)||2.797 billion (+7.45% from Q1)||2.912 billion (+2% from Q1)||2.963 billion (+0.91% from Q1)|
This chart is also what we’d expect, a steady growth with 99% being in the upside and only one downshift in Q2 2022, where the MAU dropped from 2.936 billion in Q1 to 2.934 billion in Q2, a 2 million decline.
But, the uptrend continued unabated from Q2 onward, and the year ended with a 0.91% increase in MAU from Q1 to Q4 of 2022.
Still, if you compare the percentage increase in MAU between Q1 and Q4 of the previous years, you’ll notice that Facebook is in a downtrend for monthly average active users. But this is to be expected with any technology or trend. Eventually, the hype vanishes and organic interest starts replacing it, which is what we see above.
There was a difference of 83% from 2009’s Q1’s and Q4’s MAU, from 197 million users to 360 million users. But the next year, that percentage increase was nearly halved to 41%.
And then the next year, the increase reached +24% from the previous year’s 41%. You see where I’m going with this one. Facebook was the new kid in the town back then, and people had never seen anything like it. Naturally, the hype was at its strongest.
But as people saw what it was about and they tried all the cool features, the hype gradually disappeared with habitual interest.
I wouldn’t say that Facebook’s lower uptrend in MAU from Q4 2022 is a bad sign. After all, they have almost three billion people using their platform monthly. There isn’t much they can do to change that.
Facebook DAU/MAU Ratio
The DAU/MAU Ratio shows how active monthly users are on a daily basis. It basically shows how many days a monthly user is active on the platform, in this case, Facebook. So, using this logic:
- A 30% DAU/MAU Ratio means that a monthly user is active for 9 days in a month, which is relatively alright
- A 67% DAU/MAU Ratio, on the other hand, means that a user is active for 20.1 days on your platform, which is ungodly
Coincidentally, that’s exactly Facebook’s MAU/DAU Ratio as of Q4 2022. This Ratio is calculated by dividing the DAU number (Daily Active Users) by the MAU (Monthly Active Users).
So, 2 billion (DAU) divided by 2.963 billion (MAU) nets 0.67, which is translated to 67%. And for any website to have a 67% MAU/DAU ratio is…ungodly, as I said.
I’ll just leave this chart below with the DAU/MAU ratio of Facebook across every year:
It’s quite interesting to see that Facebook’s monthly active users have also started using the platform more frequently, as a general trend.
So, even though the MAU and DAU year-over-year increases have slowed down, the users’ daily engagement has actually increased. Facebook’s market penetration is on its own playing field, far above what other companies can even dream of.
Facebook’s MAU in the United States & Canada vs. Europe
It’ll be interesting to see a comparison between Facebook’s monthly active users (MAU) in the US & Canada vs. Europe, so here it is below, courtesy of Statista for both of these stats (link and link), again.
|2010 Q4||2011 Q4||2012 Q4||2013 Q4||2014 Q4||2015 Q4||2016 Q4||2017 Q4||2018 Q4||2019 Q4||2020 Q4||2021 Q4||2022 Q4|
|US & Canada||154 million||179 million||193 million||201 million||208 million||219 million||231 million||239 million||242 million||249 million||258 million||262 million||266 million|
|Europe||262 million||282 million||301 million||323 million||349 million||370 million||381 million||394 million||419 million||427 million||407 million|
Across the board, Facebook’s market penetration in Europe has been better by a few percentages when compared to the US & Canada put together.
Except in the transition from 2021 to 2022, when the monthly active users actually dropped by 20 million in Europe, which is quite an interesting thing to discover.
In the US & Canada, the MAU grew by 4 million during the same period, staying on relative course with recent years. But Europe’s stronger influx of users was quite severely impacted by something.
There doesn’t seem to be anything specific tied to this sharp drop in monthly active users in Europe, save for Facebook’s renaming as Meta and Zuckerberg’s focus on the Metaverse, which Facebook’s aging demographic is not interested in.
Essentially, what we’re seeing in Q4 2022 is a return to the early 2020s MAU numbers for Facebook. Back in Q1 2020, there were 406 million active users in Europe, and now there are 407 in Q4 2022, almost 3 years later.
The decline in Facebook’s European monthly active users began in Q4 2021, coinciding perfectly with Facebook’s transition to Meta. Back then, there were 427 million monthly active users in Europe, which means that in the span of one year, exactly 20 million people stopped using Facebook every month.
We’ll see whether this downward trend continues or not…
Facebook Ad Audience: Numbers, Ages, and Gender Groups
Facebook (or rather Meta) published a report in January 2023 showing the worldwide audiences that advertisers could reach through their platform. Coincidentally, I got my hands on it. So, here you go:
- 93.5 million users ages 13-17, amounting to 4.7% of Facebook’s total ad audience
- 426.8 million users ages 18-24, amounting to 21.5% of Facebook’s total ad audience
- 596.8 million users ages 25-34, amounting to 30% of Facebook’s total ad audience
- 383.9 million users ages 35-44, amounting to 19.3% of Facebook’s total ad audience
- 230.8 million users ages 45 to 54, amounting to 11.6% of Facebook’s total ad audience
- 143.8 million users ages 55 to 64, amounting to 7.2% of Facebook’s total ad audience
- 111.3 million users ages 65 and above, amounting to 5.6% of Facebook’s total ad audience
I’ve also found some interesting data about the gender profile and age group of Facebook’s advertising audience
- 2.1% of the advertising audience is made up of females aged 13-17
- 2.7% of the advertising audience is made up of males aged 13-17
- 8.9% of the advertising audience is made up of females aged 18-24
- 12.6% of the advertising audience is made up of males aged 18-24
- 12.3% of the advertising audience is made up of females aged 25-34
- 17.6% of the advertising audience is made up of males 25-34
- 8.5% of the advertising audience is made up of females 35-44
- 10.9% of the advertising audience is made up of males 35-44
- 3.8% of the advertising audience is made up of females 55-64
- 3.5% of the advertising audience is made up of males aged 55-64
- 3% of the advertising audience is made up of females aged 65+
- 2.6% of the advertising audience is made up of males aged 65+
It seems quite clear that across nearly all age groups, men have more (or easier) access to Facebook than women, with the statistics being inversed from the 55-64 age group and above. Apparently, not quite as many older men use Facebook as women.
Another interesting point is the ARPU criterion (Average Revenue Per User) that Facebook uses as a milestone for advertising companies. For instance, did you know that the average Facebook user in North America is worth about 3.4 times more than an average user in Europe? That’s because:
- The Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) in the US and Canada is $58.77
- The ARPU in Europe is $17.29
- The ARPU in Asia-Pacific is $4.61
- The ARPU in the rest of the world is $3.52
Clearly, US and Canadian Facebook users are much more easily persuaded to purchase something through Facebook and are also willing to spend considerably more on whatever they buy.
On the polar opposite is the rest of the world (which excludes the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia-Pacific) where the ARPU is a measly $3.52, a whole 16.69 times lower than the US and Canada ARPU.
User Activity Frequency on Facebook
Unfortunately, this data is no longer up-to-date because Facebook stopped publishing details about user engagement in June of 2021. But it’s still interesting to see the frequency of user actions on the platform. Here’s a list of what average of 18+ users did on Facebook:
- Liked around 11 posts in the last 30 days
- Re-shared around 1 post in the last 30 days
- Left around 5 comments on various posts in the last 30 days
- The average female user clicked on 14 ads in a month, while men clicked on an average of 10 ads per month
- Women aged 45-64 were more likely to click on Facebook ads, averaging around 20 ad clicks per month
- Younger men are the least likely to click on Facebook ads when comparing genders
- Female users aged 65+ clicked on more ads in a month than females aged 25-34, on average
What the data tells us is that female users are much more interested in products being marketed on Facebook, with the age “sweet spot” being 45-64, followed by 35-44, 65+, and 25-24 age groups respectively.
In general, men clicked a lot fewer ads compared to women across all age groups, with the smallest difference being in the 18-24 age group where women clicked an average of 9 ads per month while men clicked 8 ads in the same period.
The older the user, the bigger that difference would get, reaching a difference of 8 ads per month between women and men.
My Take on Facebook’s Userbase Evolution
I believe that, despite the naysayers, Facebook is here to stay IF the company doesn’t stray too far from its identity and keeps doing what it’s been doing for so many years.
I’ve already shown that Facebook’s DAU/MAU Ratio is higher than ever before, which shows that, instead of the expected decrease in usage, monthly users are using Facebook more frequently than ever before. It’s not exactly what you’d expect from a platform that’s “having its dying breath“.
Now, what happens from here on out is a matter of debate, as I said. If Mark Zuckerberg keeps estranging his investors and user base with more and more Meta talks, Facebook’s magnetic attraction might finally crumble for its almost 3 billion users.
But if the company maintains a strong identity and doesn’t forget its roots, we won’t be seeing the last of Facebook despite 2022’s decreased revenue.
We’ll just have to wait and see what happens!
- Statista – Number of Daily Active Facebook Users Worldwide as of 4th Quarter 2022
- Statista – Number of Monthly Active Facebook Users Worldwide as of 4th Quarter 2022
- Statista – Facebook Monthly Active Users (MAU) in the United States and Canada as of 4th Quarter 2022
- Statista – Facebook Monthly Active users (MAU) in Europe as of 4th Quarter 2022
- Statista – Distribution of Facebook Users Worldwide as of January 2023, by Gender
- Global Data – Number of Daily Active Facebook Users: Global (Q4 2009 – Q1 2022)
- Data Reportal – Facebook Statistics and Trends