In the last decade we’ve seen something grow from a seemingly passing trend for college students to something that now seems like a daily or sometimes hourly necessity, social media. As the years continue we see more and more use of social media across the planet. Facebook currently leads the world in social media audience and is still growing. As our world chimes in on the digital platform one big question jumps to mind, how big can Facebook get? Listen to this Question Your World radio report produced by the Science Museum of Virginia to find out.
The numbers behind the social media world are incredibly fascinating. Let’s look at Facebook’s numbers through the lens of science. The average smart phone user checks their Facebook account 14 times a day. That turns out to be about 50 minutes a day that’s devoted to scrolling, trolling, liking, sharing, commenting, and so on.
Facebook’s popularity seems even bigger when you compare it to the biggest nations on Earth. China and India, both respectively have populations that exceed a billion, that’s a lot of people. If Facebook were a country though, it would be much bigger than China and India.
As of now there are over 2 billion active users, meaning the total amount of Facebook users is larger than any country on Earth and if the trend continues will be larger than China and India combined within the next few years. So how much bigger can Facebook even get?
Facebook hit 1 billion users in 2012, then earlier this year they hit 2 billion, but the bigger numbers are getting harder to reach. Currently almost half of the world does not even have access to the internet, so that’s one big challenge to overcome. Getting the world to connect will require lots of technological and economic changes still. Then there are issues with governments. Places like China and Iran have actually banned Facebook, another challenge to growing this global social network.
Despite these road blocks, as technology grows and becomes cheaper the shift towards online use are predicted to only increase and as more internet use happens, more and more people will join social media. Thus proving that there’s one thing that all humans need in life…cat memes.