Facebook is bigger than the whole Internet was in 2004

Facebook is bigger than the whole Internet was in 2004

Summary: Facebook already has more users than the whole Internet had in 2004, the year the social networking giant was founded.

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Just two weeks ago, at its 2011 f8 developer conference, Facebook confirmed it had 800 million active users. Let's put that into perspective for you: there were only 757 million people using the Internet worldwide in 2004, according to Internet World Stats.

Why did Royal Pingdom, an uptime monitoring service, choose the year 2004 as the year of comparison? Well, many tend to forget that Facebook is just a seven-year-old company: it was founded in February 2004.

The firm points out Facebook's active user base is:

  • 38 percent of the entire current Internet population
  • 87 percent of the Internet population of Asia
  • 168 percent of the Internet population of Europe
  • 294 percent of the Internet population of North America
  • 370 percent of the Internet population of Latin America
  • 674 percent of the Internet population of Africa
  • 1,167 percent of the Internet population of the Middle East
  • 3,757 percent of the Internet population of Oceania / Australia

After Facebook passes 1 billion users, the next milestone will be eclipsing India, and then China. If Facebook was a country, it would be the world's third largest, by population. We're not talking Internet population here (as is the case in the bulleted list above) – we're comparing Facebook's population to a country's total population.

Many websites only report the cumulative number of members that sign up for their service, which does not take into account inactive accounts. Facebook's user count metric is much better as it is defined as a user who has logged in within the last 30 days. While this does not eliminate the issue of one person having multiple accounts, it still makes Facebook's numbers more impressive.

See also:

Topics: Social Enterprise, Browser

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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11 comments
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  • And what of Google plus?

    //technolog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/10/07/8209170-google-traffic-drops-60-percent
    William Farrell
    • RE: Facebook is bigger than the whole Internet was in 2004

      @William Farrell
      MS fans taking pleasure in the lack of competition. Surprising?

      At least Google is trying despite a huge market barrier and Google+ is new so you never know what might happen down the line. Microsoft is simply deciding that all they really need is the massive user data facebook has and are just happy to pay for that data.
      anono
      • How did this become an anti-Microsoft article?

        @anono

        Your hatred of Microsoft in leading you to see and say things that have no connection to the blogs you reply on.

        Why is it when Microsoft produces a very fine MP3 player, you berate them for attempting to enter a market ruled by Apple, yet praise Google for attempting the same thing, to enter a market controlled by Facebook?

        I thought hypocrisy was not a characteristic humans found endearing, yet you put it forth as though it is desireable.

        :|
        Tim Cook
      • RE: Facebook is bigger than the whole Internet was in 2004

        @Mister Spock<br>Link please. I prefer the ipod touch over the zune, but I don't remember berating Microsoft's attempt to compete. Making up stuff about me is not a counter argument.<br><br>As for why this article is relevant to Microsoft. It is well known that Microsoft and Facebook are partners and it is pretty obvious when the topic of facebook integration in bing comes up, that MS has access to the huge amounts of user data facebook stores. I think it's a legitimate concern users should have when they see one company have access to so much user data.
        anono
    • RE: Facebook is bigger than the whole Internet was in 2004

      @William Farrell Agreed that <a href="http://www.webmastersitesi.com/facebook/" title="facebook">Facebook</a> is a content whale covered nearly %10 of internet sources. The results is not so nice for <a href="http://www.webmastersitesi.com/google/" rel="muse" title="google">google</a> and other search engines.
      jacksonn
  • RE: Facebook is bigger than the whole Internet was in 2004

    http://mcaf.ee/y5b3c
    ghetset
  • RE: Facebook is bigger than the whole Internet was in 2004

    http://mcaf.ee/y5b3c
    ghetset
  • RE: Facebook is bigger than the whole Internet was in 2004

    www.snapcrowd.com
    snapcrowd
  • Yep...I believe it

    I figured that out a while back when it suddenly dawned on me that [i]Facebook had more malware than 2004's Internet...[/i] :-)
    eMJayy
  • So is the amount of garbage content.

    Yes, FB is larger, and so is the amount of garbage and useless bits and bytes masquerading as content.
    kraterz
  • RE: Facebook is bigger than the whole Internet was in 2004

    Interesting tidbit of info. I am a registered FB user, but I barely use it. How much revenue is FB getting from someone like me (and the tens of millions of other people who have registered but rarely use it)?
    duplai@...