Global Population and Social Media 2010

One World One WebAs a professor who specializes in international business, a recent tweet by Peter Durfee (@durf) caught my attention. After translating the original tweet from Japanese into English, Peter retweeted a post by Mika Ueno (@mikamika59) that listed the world’s largest countries in terms of population including social media platforms.

Here is Mika’s list:

  1. China
  2. India
  3. Facebook
  4. USA
  5. MySpace
  6. Indonesia
  7. Brazil
  8. Twitter

In lectures, I’ve presented similar lists highlighting the world’s largest economic entities (countries versus corporations). Having recently published a blog about social media growth 2006-2010, it seemed logical to examine Mika’s list and to expand it where possible. According to Wikipedia, total world population as of 10 September 2010 is 6,868,000,000. The table below presents the population of the top 20 countries, interspersed with the population of unique users on various social media platforms, and their corresponding percent of world total population:

Global Population Revised

As highlighed by Mika, Facebook is the third largest “country” on the planet, accounting for over seven percent of the global population. Facebook mobile, the number of users globally accessing Facebook from their mobile phones and devices, is the tenth largest “country” on the planet, representing 2.18 percent of the global population.

One of the biggest surprises is the explosive growth of Twitter over the past couple of months. Clearly my estimate of 8 August (111 million), based upon the last publicly available total number of unique users plus the daily growth rate multiplied by the number of days since the last estimate, was understated. Using the newly attained estimate of 145 million unique users, Twitter’s compound annual growth rate is not 248.79 as I miss-reported on 8 August (when it should have been reported as 428.96 percent), but an incredible 478.23 percent. Twitter accounts for 2.11 percent of the global population. After discovering this error, all figures and charts from the 8 August post have been corrected and updated.

Clearly, as the rankings indicate, the future of marketing and advertising is increasingly tied to the global expansion of social media. As mobile internet access increases globally, so does the importance of understanding and utilizing inbound marketing techniques.


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