Love it or hate it, you cannot ignore it. Mark Zuckerberg's social media giant Facebook, which is now owned by the recently named parent Meta Platforms, has millions of users around the world despite the security and privacy loopholes it blatantly exposes them to.
Common perception is that young people are shunning Facebook and that it isn't hip or cool any longer.
They are said to be exiting the addictive platform in droves, but statistics tell a different story.
How Facebook has grown in Australia over the last five years
Generally, Aussies are ardent consumers of social media, but Facebook is the overall preferred platform, with 66 per cent of the total population, or 16 million, Australians using Facebook on a monthly basis.
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In Australia, the number of Facebook users has been increasing steadily since its introduction in 2005.
Aussie Facebook users are the fourth-most active 'Likers' in the world, which amounts to an average of 15 likes per month versus the global average of 12.
There are specific reasons for this growth pattern. Given Australia has one of the highest active social media penetration rates globally and a high internet penetration rate, social networking sites are bound to grow exponentially.
But statistics, surprisingly, also reveal that younger generations in Australia are much more active Facebook users with those aged 18-29 using the platform four times more per week than those over the age of 65.
Furthermore, WhatsApp and Instagram are also Facebook-owned social media platforms with a growing user base.
So the next time you casually diss Facebook and its many new product offerings under the Meta brand, do consider that you're probably also contributing to its remarkable growth and expansion strategy.
Which countries have the most Facebook users?
While Australia's active Facebook user base has grown steadily over the years and is expected to increase further by 2022, it is not among the top 10 users by country.
Ever since its advent, Facebook has provided easy access to people across the world, with almost every country having users who can connect with each other more conveniently than on any other platform.
Additionally, in certain countries Facebook aids political campaigns, helps deliver news, and acts as a conduit to organise movements, protests, and more.
Facebook has more than 2 billion users worldwide, with the following countries accounting for most of the user base.
The figures are in millions:
While China holds the largest population in the world, with more than 1.4 billion people, Facebook has been banned in the country since 2009 for not complying with Chinese censorship rules.
India, which has the second-largest population in the world, with just under 1.4 billion, houses the most Facebook users of any country.
India alone has 340 million Facebook users, making it the leading country for the platform.
According to Statista, if India’s Facebook audience were to form a country, it would be ranked the third-most populous in the world.
Other countries that have more than 100 million Facebook users each are US (200 million), Indonesia (140 million) and Brazil (130 million).
With a population of about 332 million, more than 72 per cent of US citizens are on Facebook.