New Studies Show Marketing Power of Facebook

November of 2009 was a big month for Facebook.  And it’s not just consumers who are leveraging this titanic network.  Check out these crazy statistics.

ComScore reported that the popular networking site surpassed 100 million U.S. visitors in a single month, joining the elite list of sites (including Google and Yahoo!) that have also reached this milestone.

This major success led to another Facebook record as founder Mark Zuckerman reported they had reached 350 million users in total.

And the impressive stats don’t stop there.  ComScore also reported that Facebook took up 5.5% of all time spent online in the U.S. during the month of November.  Considering how big the “online world” actually is in terms of web pages, this was no small feat!  Check out this image:


Image taken from mashable.com

About the same time the Facebook stats surfaced, Morgan Stanley released The Mobile Internet Report. This report covers an array of trending themes, including an in-depth look at Facebook’s place as a social networking giant and soon to be “close partner” to the expansive world mobile.

Based on Morgan Stanley’s report, here’s a snapshot of Facebook’s reach, impact and marketing advantages:

Facebook Usage Stats

These stats may shock you:

  • Shared content (web links, blog posts, notes): 3.5 billion/week
  • Photos uploaded: 2.5 billion/month
  • Videos uploaded: 14 million/month (more than 19,000 per hour!!)
  • Events created: 3.5 million/month
  • Users who have signed on with Facebook Connect: 80 million total across 80,000 websites since it launched in December 2008

The Power of Facebook Apps

According to Facebook, they currently house over 350,000 apps. Here are the top Facebook apps*:

  1. Farmville (63 million) 
  2. Causes (35 million)
  3. Café World (28 million)
  4. Mafia Wars (26 million)
  5. Happy Aquarium (24 million)
  6. Pet Society (21 million)
  7. FamilyLink.com (21 million)
  8. Yoville (20 million)
  9. Texas HoldEm Poker (19 million)
  10. Farm Town (18 million)

*These stats fluctuate slightly each week depending on usage. 

Here’s an interesting fact:  7 out of the 10 apps above are actually social games. Social games are those played on social networks where there is a level of interaction with others (taking turns) and you can see others’ actions as the game progresses.

Because social gaming is currently the leader in app development, marketers can take advantage of this as they look for ways to cross-promote and engage with their audiences via new platforms.  It comes down to meeting your audience where they are already spending a good portion of their time.

Wonder if Facebook app development is a lucrative opportunity?

Here are two examples of successful Facebook app developers.  Zynga, one of the largest developers of social games on the web, has developed 36 Facebook apps, reported $67 million in ’09 revenues and 183 million active users.

Playfish, also an online game developer, has created 10 Facebook apps, reported $30 million in ’09 revenues and 60 million active users.  Pretty impressive when you consider how the top apps on Facebook are used solely for enjoyment.

To put the success of Facebook applications into perspective, the Morgan Stanley report listed a few impressive real-life examples. Here are two of our favorites:

Facebook Rivals a Guinness World Record:  Currently 7 games on Facebook get more monthly active users than all players on World of Warcraft (an online game that holds a Guinness World Record for most popular multi-player online game of all time).

Facebook Rivals the Home of the Quarter Pounder: According to the report, “It took McDonald’s more than 55 years to open 32,000 restaurants worldwide, compared to only 4 weeks for Facebook users to open more than 1.5 million virtual restaurants on Playfish’s Restaurant City app, a game in which users start their own restaurants, employ friends as chefs and waiters and compete with other restaurants in their area.” Wow!

Facebook Takes on the Mobile World

Here are some more interesting stats:

  • It is estimated that 17% of Facebook users currently access the site using a mobile device, and that number is estimated to skyrocket to 90% within 5 years.
  • Mobile Facebook users are 50% more active than non-mobile Facebook users.
  • 1 million users commented on their friends’ status changes on mobile devices within the first 24 hours of the mobile feature’s launch.
  • There are currently 180+ carriers in 60 different countries promoting Facebook mobile products.
  • Here’s a graph to show Facebook’s steady rise of mobile users:


Image taken from The Mobile Internet Report by Morgan Stanley Research

There is no doubt that Facebook is in a class of its own in the social networking arena.

Do you think Facebook can stay on top? Do you use Facebook more often than other social media tools?  Have you had any major successes with Facebook? Let us know about your own Facebook experiences!

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About the Author, Amy Porterfield

Amy is the co-author of Facebook Marketing All-In-In One for Dummies and a social media trainer and speaker. Check out her latest webinar, 7 Simple Strategies to Profit From Facebook. check. Other posts by »




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  • http://twitter.com/Nick_Landers Nick Landers

    Great point about the time spent on Facebook and great post overall. Way to end 2009!

  • http://cfagbata.com Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr.

    Facebook is it in 2009 and I must say it made a lot of positive impact in my business. Expecting more from them in 2010. Thank you Amy for this post.

  • Clint Okayama

    Great post. With people spending all this time on facebook and other social networking sites, I think it would be very, very interesting to see what old activities are being forsaken in their place. Are people spending less time at other sites? Or doing fewer solitary activities such as reading or watching TV? My major gut reaction is that facebook will slowly begin to cut into mobile phones and other modes of long-distance communication.

  • http://www.ekmedia.com/ Melissa

    love all the stats! great compilation of info about FB.

  • http://www.amanichannel.com/ Amani Channel

    I’m getting more and more business leads from Facebook. It’s a great social and professional tool. Had no idea FB was so huge.

  • http://www.CompassNorthInc.com/ Tony Johnston

    Great picture painted about the power of Facebook. Thanks!

    What is seems to point to, however, is the huge importance of Facebook in terms of B2C.

    But what do you see as its relevance in the B2B world? What site or sites are big there?

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Thanks, Nick! Facebook fascinates me sometimes…stats like these show just how powerful it really is. Thanks for stopping by :-) -Amy

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    I too am looking forward to seeing how Facebook takes on 2010. Good to hear it was a positive tool for you this year. Happy New Year and lots of luck to you in 2010! -Amy

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Thanks, Melissa! Glad you enjoyed it :-)

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    I know! When I did the research for this article I was a bit stunned at how popular FB really is. There is no doubt it is a powerful tool. . . one that just might be getting bigger in 2010. We shall see . . . -Amy

  • http://www.attorney2pointoh.com/ Tracy Thrower Conyers

    I’m still wondering if there is going to be some kind of privacy backlash with FB. What happens when everybody figures out that the app developers are making their money selling the profile information they’re getting access to? Real time search is about to become a real eye opener, too. My sense from playing in the FB sandbox is that the average consumer has no idea how much “transparency” they’re offering up on the web these days. Will that average consumer just roll with the new paradigm, or will there be a big stink?

  • http://www.heartspoken.com/ Elizabeth H. Cottrell

    Thank you, Amy, for this fascinating perspective on Facebook and its influence, growth, and power. I really helps in evaluating where to spend our social media time in 2010.

  • http://www.TheMarketingSpot.com Jay Ehret

    Great info, Amy. But I think your post is mistitled. While these stats show that there are a lot of people on Facebook, they don’t prove the marketing power of Facebook. They just prove there are a lot of people on Facebook, and they’re using it a lot.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ellenbclark Ellen B Clark

    A question? How would a Face Book app – such as Farmville – enchance business marketing, since the apps seem to be geared toward the social aspect of the site?

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Tracy, you make such a great point here. Facebook is the “big shot” right now, but privacy is easily becoming a hot topic (already is) and as people become even more savvy in this social space, I think there will be some backlash from some. But at the same time, there are a lot of people out there that want to put it “all out there” and welcome the fact that nothing online is really sacred anymore. I have seen arguments from both camps–but regardless, I do think you are correct in your prediction that this issue will come to the surface sooner than later. Thanks for sharing. . .

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    My pleasure! So glad you found it helpful :-)

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Jay-I disagree. . . respectfully, of course :-)
    I do think that the sheer numbers along make Facebook a powerful marketing tool. As a marketer, I believe in going where your audience is spending time. In addition, research like this also shows you to knowhat people are most interested in (photos, apps, etc.) and this information, when used correctly, will allow you to take advantage of the marketing opportunities that are within Facebook. So you and I see it differently, but that’s great–it keeps things interesting. Thanks for your comment, Jay.

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Jay-I disagree. . . respectfully, of course :-)
    I do think that the sheer numbers along make Facebook a powerful marketing tool. As a marketer, I believe in going where your audience is spending time. In addition, research like this also shows you to knowhat people are most interested in (photos, apps, etc.) and this information, when used correctly, will allow you to take advantage of the marketing opportunities that are within Facebook. So you and I see it differently, but that’s great–it keeps things interesting. Thanks for your comment, Jay.

  • http://twitter.com/tcmmarketing Taylor

    I love the information supporting social media and it’s growth. There are a lot of industries that have yet to catch on and real estate being one of them that is behind the curve. Useful graphs to help persuade the roughly 67% of Realtors who aren’t using social networking.

  • http://twitter.com/tcmmarketing Taylor

    I love the information supporting social media and it’s growth. There are a lot of industries that have yet to catch on and real estate being one of them that is behind the curve. Useful graphs to help persuade the roughly 67% of Realtors who aren’t using social networking.

  • Bithika Mehra

    Thanks for sharing these stats. My personal favorites are

    1. Currently 7 games on Facebook get more monthly active users than all players on World of Warcraft (an online game that holds a Guinness World Record for most popular multi-player online game of all time).

    2. Users who have signed on with Facebook Connect: 80 million total across 80,000 websites since it launched in December 2008

    The heat is on!

  • Bithika Mehra

    Thanks for sharing these stats. My personal favorites are

    1. Currently 7 games on Facebook get more monthly active users than all players on World of Warcraft (an online game that holds a Guinness World Record for most popular multi-player online game of all time).

    2. Users who have signed on with Facebook Connect: 80 million total across 80,000 websites since it launched in December 2008

    The heat is on!

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