Libya is World’s fastest growing country on Facebook

Libya is Facebook’s fastest growing country in terms of percentage increase in national users over the last 6 months. Usage of Facebook in the north African country has gone up 588.86% with Facebook users rising to 316,000 in 6 months.

The impact of Facebook on the Arab Spring

We heard during the revolutions of the Arab Spring that everyday people were using the social network (as well as YouTube and Twitter) to post their videos and their commentary on the events that unfolded.

Facebook groups were being set up across Egypt, Tunisia and Libya criticising the respective governments and voicing the opinions of the people. Facebook was used as a sound board for the people’s plight, especially when the governments of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria were attempting to control conventional media and journalistic freedom. Facebook was utilised to get over any such censorships and voice the opinions of the people on the frontline to the rest of the world. It all started in Tunisia as explained in this piece in The Guardian:

“Ourselves. Our revolution. We put it on Facebook. It’s how we tell the world what’s happening.” a Tunisian revolutionary in Tunis.

In Egypt, which, unlike Syria, allowed the outside media into the tourist-rich country, the social networks were censored via a cessation of broadband via the providers such as Vodafone.

Though these rises in the Arab Spring affected countries is large, all have started from relatively low levels. However, due to the impact the social networks have had on Tunisia, Libya and Egypt usage will almost certainly continue to grow where broadband and freedom of access is allowed.

Below is a chart showing the 20 countries within which Facebook has grown the most over the last 6 months. The countries in this list are most notably war-torn or financially emerging nations plus the anomaly of Japan, which is simply a late adopter.

Countries with Fastest Facebook Growth 2011

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Facebook growth India, Brazil and Japan

Remarkably three of the world’s biggest economies are in the fastest growth nations on Facebook. Japan who are relatively late adopters of Facebook compared to south east Asian partners, only have 5m Facebook users with a pretty measly 4% penetration of population, which is less than Mongolia. This growth therefore is one of acceptance of the westernised social network over other local competitors, rather than simple access to broadband.

Then there are the emerging economic powerhouses of Brazil and India whose vast populations are still mostly unconnected to the internet, it seems when they do get connection they rush to sign up to the Social Network as around 40% of internet users in both these countries are on Facebook.

At this rate of growth India will be the number one country on Facebook (most represented) within 3 years, which will surely have an impact on how we all use the social network. However, by that time will the early adopters of the western world have moved on to something new as we are already seeing?



Tags: Facebook Usage Libya, Facebook usage India, Facebook Usage Brazil, Facebook Usage Japan, Facebook Usage Tunisia, Facebook Usage Europe, Facebook Statistics