A few countries in northern Europe, like Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom, were among the first places that Facebook became popular outside of the United States. But many have relatively small populations, and now growth across the region is more a factor of each country’s overall population.
The number of monthly active Facebook users in Europe was 123 million as of February 1st, a 7.1% increase from the beginning of January, and around 19% of the region’s 648 million people. The countries that gained the most new users last month are also mostly ones we expect to continue growing. They include the UK, France and Germany — and, at number one, Turkey, which is geographically located in both Europe and Asia.
The UK still has the most Facebook users, at 24.3 million, but that’s nearly 40 percent of the 61 million people in the country. It is one of the bigger countries to have this high of a penetration rate anywhere in the world. Typically, from what we’ve seen to date, countries’ Facebook growth slows as they near 50 percent.
France, Germany and Turkey had penetration rates of 24.3%, 8.1% and 26.3%, respectively. Expect more growth from them.
Germany is an unusual country in that locally based social networks established themselves before Facebook started to catch on. But the country’s 15.1% growth rate during January is part of a trend stretching back to last year, and we expect it to continue. In contrast, Russia, another European country with especially local social networks, still has less than a million Facebook users. But growth is also picking up there.
Overall, the 10 countries with the most new users last month were also the ones with the largest populations in the region.
For more details, check out our Global Monitor report, which tracks self-reported numbers from Facebook’s advertising tool. Note that numbers we’ve observed in the tool tend be delayed by several weeks, but otherwise generally match what third-party analytics firms report.