Editor’s note: The following data is an excerpt from Inside Facebook Gold, our research and data membership service covering Facebook’s platform and advertising ecosystem.
The United States’ strong growth on Facebook continued for the second month in August, accelerating from three million new monthly active users in July to almost five million new MAU.
Some of the growth appears to be the result of youthful users returning to school and, by extension, the pleasant distraction of Facebook. The single fastest-growing group was users aged 18-25. Unusually, more young male users joined the site than young females.
Our raw numbers indicate that college-aged users led the pack. However, that is not entirely the case if we look at the percentage growth. Each age group grew by about three or four percent; there are simply more users in their late teens and early twenties.
By breaking out percentages by both age and gender, we can see that men led women in growth in every age group except 45-54:
These strong male growth rates follow over from July, although they were more pronounced in August, especially in users 13-35.
This new trend may turn out to be temporary. But Facebook is also becoming more gender-balanced over time in developed nations; over the course of the past year, men have grown from 43 to 45 percent of the total in the US.
High market penetration is one important factor. As Facebook becomes ever more ingrained in society, more users who were once reluctant to participate will end up using the service anyway.
As of September 1st, the US stands at 43.8 percent penetration, higher than any other large country except the United Kingdom, which is at 45.4 percent.
There, men comprise just over 48 percent of users, providing some support to the theory that male users may drive later-stage growth for developed countries on Facebook. (In developing countries, by contrast, male users typically dominate from an early stage.)
For the moment, men are still significantly behind women in every age group in the US, with the gap growing wider in older groups:
While the August growth numbers for the US were quite encouraging for Facebook, the September figures, which we’ll be printing in early October, should provide a better idea of whether the US is on a new growth streak, or simply responding to seasonal trends.
The above traffic and demographic data for Facebook’s US audience is taken from Inside Facebook Gold, our research and data service covering Facebook’s growth around the world. To learn more or join to download the full Global Demographics Report, please visit Inside Facebook Gold.