Facebook Sees Solid Growth Around the World in March 2010


By Eric Eldon Comment

Facebook continues to see strong growth around the world, according to our latest Global Monitor report. It grew by around 17 million monthly active users since March 1, from 394 million to 411 million worldwide.

The fastest growing countries are now exclusively either larger European countries or countries in Latin America or Asia with relatively large economies. Indonesia makes the top of the list, having seen most of its growth in the last year or so. Facebook has previously said the country relies on mobile versions of the service. Combine this with the popularity of mobile phones, and the country’s low 9.2% Facebook penetration rate in the population, and you can expect a lot more growth here.

Two other Southeast Asian countries are further down the list. The Philippines also has a relatively low penetration rate, at 12.9% so it should also grow. Facebook is starting get used by more Malaysians — more than 20% of them. There’s likely more room to grow, but it will likely slow down before the other two countries.

France is number 2 overall, at above other European countries Italy, Turkey (when counted as part of Europe) and Spain. These countries also saw lots of earlier growth, their penetration rates are higher, so its a surprise to see them rank so well. Germany, which has been late to get on Facebook, is a few places below this top 10 list, but and Eastern European countries will likely drive more European growth in the future.

Finally, Argentina and Mexico both show up, with other Latin American countries coming in slightly further down. We expect steady growth in this region, too.

Finally, the US shows up, but with far fewer new users than in past months. It’s not clear if this is a glitch in Facebook’s advertising tool or what, but we expect it to gradually slow down, too — and maybe we’re seeing the start of it. The past months have seen it gain millions of new users and in March it brought in relatively less, with 610,000 new people.

Speaking of Facebook’s advertising tool, it often reports data a few weeks late, at least, although its data is generally corroborated by third party measurement services. The point is that Facebook could have far more users than 411 million already.

We’ll also have an update about our Global Monitor coming here shortly, so stay tuned.