Among Facebook’s Top Languages, Portuguese, Arabic, and Spanish Lead Growth

By Susan Su Comment

[Editor’s Note: The data cited in this article is excerpted from Inside Facebook Gold, our membership service tracking Facebook’s business and growth around the world. Visit Inside Facebook Gold to learn more about our complete data and analysis offering.]

Today we present our monthly look at Facebook’s language leaderboard and growth.

Facebook recently announced that it had reached an astonishing 500 million users around the world. However, the relevant question for developers, advertisers and marketers is not simply how large this total audience is, but how to reach more and more of these users through strategies including language localization.

While the overall ranking of the site’s top languages remains unchanged since June, with English-speaking users outnumbering the next group of language users by over 3:1, this hasn’t stopped many leading developers and marketing firms operating within the ecosystem from significant localization investment.

Such efforts are for good reason, too — among Facebook’s top languages, those that saw the greatest rate of growth were Portuguese, Arabic, Spanish and French. (Stay tuned to see how this maps to country market growth — we’ll be presenting July total audience numbers in the upcoming Facebook Global Monitor).

Here’s a look at growth rates for Facebook’s Top 10 languages:

What you can see from the chart above is that some of Facebook’s fastest-growing languages aren’t yet even part of the site’s top 5 overall. This is unsurprising — any change to the leaderboard will likely be slow, if it happens at all. Nonetheless, major markets in North America and Western Europe are reaching, or have already achieved, Facebook saturation. Users in those markets are also correspondingly savvy in their attitudes and receptiveness towards ads, applications, and fan page marketing campaigns.

The full Facebook Global Language Report, and extensive audience demographic data for Facebook’s markets around the world, is only available to members of Inside Facebook Gold, our data membership service. To learn more or join, please visit Inside Facebook Gold.