Facebook Mobile Monthly Active Users Q3 2012


Flickr Credit

Techcrunch reports that approximately 126 million mobile MAUs accessed Facebook solely through mobile apps or on Facebook’s mobile website during the month ended September 30, 2012, increasing 24% from 102 million during the month ended June 30, 2012. This confirms that the mobile use trends are growing, as Facebook saw a 23% increase in mobile only users from 83 million in March to 102 million in June.

Developing Markets

Increased mobile browsing does not necessarily prove that users are browsing Facebook less on traditional desktop or computers. Rather, it is likely that there are more users in developing markets such as Brazil and India are using feature phones more to connect to Facebook. Facebook’s key emerging markets kept growing fast in Q3. Brazil’s monthly active users (MAU) hit 61 million, up 13% from 54 million at the end of June, and up 109% year-over-year. India hit 65 million MAU, up 8.5% from 59 million at the end of Q2, and up 62% since September 30th, 2011. Sadly,  for Facebook, growth in both those markets is slowing, as Brazil grew 146% and India grew 84% from June 30th 2011 to June 2012. Some good news is that Japan grew to 18 million MAU, up 218% year-over-year. US Growth Just 1.71%

Mature Markets

Facebook reports that they had 171 million MAUs in the United States as of September 30, 2012, an increase of 8% compared to the same period in 2011, and an increase of 1.71% from 168 million as of June 30th.

The Pains and Opportunities of Facebook’s EdgeRank Changes


It has now been nearly been a month since Ogilvy reported that Facebook had made big changes to the way their EdgeRank algorithm worked.  Since then, discussions with fellow Facebook Page admins and media blog posts have all reported that they have seen a sharp decline in their organic reach since September 20th.

Since the introduction of Timeline back in April, many brands have seen their reach decrease naturally decline, as more pages and more users create content. This has an effect on what is seen on News Feed. The more user content that is pushed to the news feed, the less opportunity that your brand content will be seen by people who have liked your page.

Is this a cunning ploy by Facebook to generate more advertising revenue from brands? Or, is this a justifiable change to reflect the ever increasing number of pages and users who fan those pages?

Facebook themselves have been very quiet about the recent changes. However, a Facebook rep recently confirmed the following:

· We’re continually optimizing newsfeed to ensure the most relevant experience for our users

· One of the key factors in our optimization is engagement: the amount of clicks, likes, comments, shares etc. generated by a piece of content

· While overall engagement should remain relatively consistent as a result of our most recent optimization, your organic reach may be impacted

· The more engaging your content, the lower the impact this optimization should have on your reach going forward

· Feed is optimized to show users the posts they are most likely to engage with, where engagement is defined as clicking, liking, commenting, or sharing the post – or in the case of offers, claiming the offer.

· Posts that are more likely to be engaging tend to appear higher in feed. Some of the strongest factors that influence this are how engaging an individual post has been for other users who have seen it, and how engaged a user has historically been with other posts they’ve seen from that page. Feed also takes negative feedback into account, which is the number of people who have hidden a post or reported it as spam.

· Finally, if a page has a piece of content that it feels will be very engaging e.g. A good offer, a great photo, an announcement, etc. then using paid media to “boost” that post to fans in newsfeed can be an effective tool to increase engagement with fans

Before September 20th, all fans were created equal. However, with user numbers beyond the 1 billion mark, Facebook has decided that fans are no longer equal on your brand pages. Some fans are more likely to engage with your content than others and EdgeRank has always reflected that. However, the algorithms have been “turbo charged” more than ever before to reflect what really makes for engaging content.

How does this play out in the real world? Well, EdgeRank Checker did some tests of their own and found the following insight:


The typical Facebook Page in their data set was experiencing 26% Organic Reach the week before the September 20th. The week after the 20th, these same Pages were experiencing 19.5%. These Pages lost approximately 6.5% of their Reach since the changes.

A reduction in organic reach, and evidence from Facebook that reach drives revenue for online brand marketers, suggests that in order to increase reach, brands will need to consider advertising as one lever of getting a brand message out there. However, it is important to remember that only the most engaging posts will react better. Sponsoring a bad post, will not give it more reach.

Brands are encouraged to experiment more with their content strategies, to understand what resonates better with their fans. Producing better, more engaging content that is “social by design”. In other words, content that people naturally want to comment on and share on will more likely make it to News Feed for longer.

How To Clean Unwanted Apps in Social Media


Avi Charkham has created a wonderful site called http://mypermissions.org/ which helps users to manage the ever growing list of apps, that we are associate our social accounts too.  It is good to practice to prune services and apps that you no longer use for good security best practice. To make life easier, I’ve posted the direct links below:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/settings/?tab=applications

Twitter: http://twitter.com/settings/connections

Google: https://www.google.com/accounts/IssuedAuthSubTokens

Yahoo: https://api.login.yahoo.com/WSLogin/V1/unlink?.intl=us&.scrumb=oGuZry/Yg97

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/secure/settings?userAgree=&goback=.aas

Dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/account#applications

Instagram: https://instagr.am/oauth/manage_access

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/services/auth/list.gne?from=extend

How To Build a Winning Facebook Page


Buddy Media’s Michael Lazerow delivered a fantastic talk at LeWeb11 on the latest trends for Facebook Pages, and Michael highlighted some of the best ways brands are currently using Facebook to engage with people and grow their business. The entire video is well worth watching and Michael’s deck from the talk is also available in this post. I have highlighted my own notes in bullet form which you can read below.

  • Facebook is massive – 850M active users on one global platform
  • 50% login everyday
  • 94% of digital marketers focus on Facebook
  • 9M businesses have a page on Facebook
  • Successful brands are dominating the wall and publishing to it with a purpose
  • Increases in engagement, lead to increases in impressions which then lead to more engagement. This is Facebook’s virtuous cycle.
  • Tie your posts to what is going on in the real world – Break news!
  • Keep status updates short, with a simple Call to Action (CTA)
  • Simple CTAs are very important, tell your consumers what you want them to do! Don’t make users think
  • Use photo galleries and put the CTA in the photo itself
  • Success depends on understanding Facebook metrics.
    Confused about the metrics?  Just look at what Facebook SAYS is important.
    If Facebook says its important, then then they are optimising it against their algorithms
  • How many people are engaging on your page?  “Talking about this?”   There are people who have created a ‘story’ in the last seven days (comments, likes, responses to events, most commented posts, answered a question, mentioned your page, tagging your page, checked in, etc)
  • Look at impressions, how many people saw your post though the organic news feed? How many people saw your page through paid media?  How many people saw your page through viral actions e.g non fans, who your post through your friends actions?
  • Coupons work! – coupons are the most engaging word on Facebook
  • Lots of brands are using exclusive content – even if it’s non fan gated (Share this with friends and we will reveal something exclusive)
  • Like-Gate content and vote!
  • Like our page to get access to the event, or content FROM the event
  • If you are having events, invite people THROUGH Facebook




You can also see the panel discussion that followed Michael’s talk – Going beyond creating a Facebook page which is also well worth watching.


Sheryl Sandberg–It’s All About The People

Sheryl Sandberg Facebook’s COO recently delivered a talk at the London School Economics on how Facebook is changing the world. In the remainder of this post, I highlight some of they key points from the talk which you can watch above.

Facebook has over 30 million users in the UK.

The most recent innovation of the web,  is the shift from information retrieval to social discovery. This is the birth of the social web. When you browse Facebook, you are not necessarily looking for a subject matter – you are open to responses from others (Facebook’s newsfeed). We live our lives in social discovery and not in information seeking mode. The information web isn’t dying, it is just evolving.

Today, we are seeing two fundamental transformational shifts from the information web to the social web.

1. On the social web – you have real identity and real personalisation, its entirely personal

2. There’s a shift from information retrieval to social discovery (this is how Facebook works)

We live our lives mostly in social discovery, not really in information seeking mode. The social web is powering us as individuals in a totally different way. This is why we think people are spending so much time on Facebook. The average user in the UK spends about 7 hours per month on Facebook.

There’s another shift from the wisdom of crowds, where everything is done based on algorithms to the wisdom of friends, where we listen to recommendations of people we value. The social web doesn’t just connecting us to people we know, but it connects us to people we don’t know in ways that make them really human. This is a shift from the “what to the who”. Every single day 15 million people connect, and 50 million people ‘Like’ a page. Marketers have always known that the best form of advocacy is friend to friend.

A Snapshot of Facebook in 2010


Flickr Credit: Markus Pacher

As 2010 draws to a close we can take a look at some data that provides a window into the lives of the millions of people around the world who use Facebook everyday to share their lives, feelings and interests with friends. Here is a snapshot of 20 minutes on Facebook showing the huge number of photos, links and statuses posted everyday demonstrating how much the internet has changed the way we interact with our friends, making it easier for us stay in touch or share our interests, with Facebook being at the centre of that change in 2010.   Source: Democracy UK on Facebook

Relationship Statuses in 2010:

43,869,800 changed their status to single

3,025,791 changed their status to "it’s complicated"

28,460,516 changed their status to in a relationship

5,974,574 changed their status to engaged

36,774,801 changes their status to married

What 20 minutes on Facebook looks like

Shared links: 1,000,000 every 20 minutes

Tagged photos: 1,323,000

Event invites sent out: 1,484,000

Wall Posts: 1,587,000

Status updates: 1,851,000

Friend requests accepted: 1,972,000

Photos uploaded: 2,716,000

Comments: 10,208,000

Message: 4,632,000

Top Feel Good Story Shared on Facebook

Most Liked Celebrities:

Lady Gaga

24,712,169 people like this


23,729,700 people like this

Megan Fox

19,575,080 people like this

Vin Diesel

19,425,325 people like this


18,903,844 people like this

Barack Obama

17,229,885 people like this

Bob Marley

17,168,034 people like this

Lil Wayne

17,004,850 people like this

Justin Bieber

16,779,874 people like this


16,520,790 people like this

The Social Network–A Movie Review

Last night I watched an advance UK preview of The Social Network, the Facebook movie. Having read Steve’s post a few week’s ago, I have been looking forward to seeing it as soon as it reached British shores.  This post describes my thoughts after watching the film and will contain spoilers. I’ve been a member of Facebook right back when it was called ‘The Facebook’, and I’ve been fascinated with it ever since. Aaron Sorkin did a great job with the screenplay and the outcome is a beautifully made film, dark in places though that’s a trademark to the genius of director David Fincher. The early part of the action takes places around the Kirkland campus at Harvard, and depicts Mark Zuckerberg as a socially awkward computer science nerd.

Jesse Eisenberg, plays Zuckerberg in a rather robotic performance, lacking any kind of human emotion during the early part of the movie. Once you get past the monotone voice, you do hear traces of Mark’s humorous dry wit. I found myself laughing out loud in certain places. The Winklevoss twins came across rather creepy, blessed by family fortune and the status that it brings. They are used to getting their own way until of course they meet Mark. He manages to give them the run around and take their idea of the Harvard Connection social network and build upon it. You  can’t help but feel they were naive suckers, despite their smugness.

Sean Parker’s (co-founder of Napster) role adds an injection of ‘coolness’ into the movie. Parker was the person that suggested that  ‘The’ from Thefacebook.com should be dropped to  simply read "Facebook". You can see how Zuckerberg becomes enthralled by Parker’s influence. Interestingly though, the film fails to mention that Parker became Facebook’s president up until the cocaine drugs bust.

Sorkin’s screenplay shows the painful build up of Eduardo Saverin’s betrayal by Zuckerberg, Sean Parker and the rest of the Facebook management team, it really stood out towards the end. In David Kirkpatrick’s Facebook Effect book (read my review here), Saverin came across as rather cold, socially awkward much like Mark himself. But above all he was a business machine, exceptionally shrewd and focused on making big contacts and even bigger deals. This didn’t really across within the movie. I genuinely felt sorry for him. Upon reading the Kirkpatrick book, I felt that Saverin was the villain. However, who is to really know the true story, apart from the main protagonists?  Overall, the 120 minutes of the movie passed by very quickly because I was engrossed. If you get the opportunity, I would certainly recommend you go and watch it. It’s a great story.

The Facebook Effect – A Book Review


I first heard about David Kirkpatrick’s book during Robert Scoble’s interview of him at the 2010 F8 Facebook conference. Both Scoble and Kirkpatrick discussed how Facebook was evolving from a social networking platform to an identity platform. Facebook’s recent privacy issues, left me intrigued. Over the past eight months, I had found myself going to my Facebook profile less and less. Instead, I devoted my time in following interesting people on Twitter. So, learning more about Facebook’s plans during F8 and the interesting insights from Scoble and Kirkpatrick led me to purchase the book.

Amazon delivered it within a few short days and upon arrival, I immediately skimmed the Prologue. It became apparent early on, that Kirkpatrick was asked to write this book by Mark Zuckerberg, to pen an historical account on how Facebook started, Zuckerberg’s vision for Facebook and how his friends helped him to change the world by building an infectious social network.

The book itself consists of 17 chapters and is a very engaging read. The 333 pages are packed with some truly interesting insights, and I couldn’t help feeling in awe at the research time and commitment that Kirkpatrick put into this work. Hours of interviews with people in Zuckerberg’s inner circle are recalled and provide a great backdrop to the true story behind the world’s leading social network. Zuckerberg describes Facebook as “a social movement”, not as a publishing platform. He is motivated by a passion for radical transparency. Through the sharing of our data and making our lives publicly available, he believes it turns us into better people. Many people disagree and the recent controversy over privacy controls as only fuelled the fire on what Facebook is sharing about us.

Kirkpatrick has written the definitive book on the company so far. It left me with a deep under­standing of how the company thinks, its philosophies and it stunned me on its true power. Anyone who is interested in Facebook’s history will absolutely love this book, as will those who are interested in contemporary geek culture.

The Facebook Effect is a great weekend read, buy your copy of the book from Amazon here.

Facebook Launches Places [Updated]

Last night, Facebook launched “Places”. You can see the announcement and launch video above. This new service from Facebook is similar to other Local Based Services (LBS) such as Foursquare and Gowalla, where you “Check in” at various locations and announce your presence.  Places allows you to see where your friends are and share your location in the real world. When you use Places, you’ll be able to see if any of your friends are currently checked in nearby and connect with them easily. You can check into nearby Places to tell your friends where you are, tag your friends in the Places you visit, and view comments your friends have made about the Places you visit.

Facebook is working with a small group of LBS developers including Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp and Booyah to build Places check ins into their own services. However, Facebook is also launching its own Places API, which means that Facebook will eventually become the key platform on which other location based applications will be be built upon. This is huge for Facebook and no doubt worrying for Twitter and Google.

Places works in conjunction with geo location supported smartphones and allows you to:

  • Check in and your Places update, which will appear on the Places page, your friends’ News Feed and your Wall.
  • Tag the friends you’re with so they can be part of your update.
  • Appear in "Here Now" to friends and others nearby who are also checked in.
  • Browse status updates of friends checked in nearby.

[Updated] Facebook releases, “Why to Check In?” video

It will be interesting to see the uptake of businesses on this new feature. To help them, Facebook has released a short guide to help advertisers, you can read the guide below.

Places creates a presence for your business’s physical store locations- encouraging your customers to share that they’ve visited your business by “checking in” to your Place. When your customer checks into your Place, these check-in stories can generate powerful, organic impressions in friends’ News Feeds, extending your brand’s reach to new customers.


As of writing, the new service is not available outside of the US. However, a global rollout is expected over the coming months. Use Places on touch.facebook.com or the Facebook for iPhone.

NB. Places is currently available on phones that support W3 geolocation.

Trevor Johnson of Facebook at #SMWF


Next up was Trevor Johnson, Head of Strategy and Planning at Facebook Europe. His talk was entitled, “Social Changes Everything”. He discussed how a burglar stopped to update his Facebook status during a robbery! He was subsequently caught. “Social” is indeed everywhere and Facebook is a big touch point for so many of us.

Facebook is used by more than 400 million active users. Users spend on average 16 minutes on the homepage, and spend 28 minutes updating their profile during the day. Facebook has now also overtaken Google as the Web’s number one web property. Here are some others stats that Trevor shared:

· #1 property on the internet (time spent)

· 5 billion+ pieces of content uploaded every week

· 6 billion+ minutes spent online every day

· 2 million+ photos per second

· 250+ platform apps with over 1m active users

· 800,000+ websites use Facebook Connect

· 2 billion+ chat messages

· 60 million+ status updates each day

At the heart of Facebook is “Identity”. “Social” is built on 3 pillars (Identity, Sharing and the Facebook Platform). Identity is core, with real people sharing and connecting with their social graphs. Facebook is particularly focussed on the growing importance of identity & authenticity. And, opportunities that are driven by [Facebook] platform and technology. [Jas Note] Interesting, if Facebook wants to become the Identity on the web what comes next, the wallet?


Social gaming has growing significantly, games such as Farmville now have over 80 million users. Companies such as Evian, even have branded “virtual goods” now. Of note, the virtual economy is anticipated to be worth 10 billion this year, Trevor said.

Finally, Trevor showed a great example on how MySpace is using Facebook Connect to connect fans with music artists, using a viral video campaign called “Fan Video”. Take a look at the one I created here. Viral videos are now becoming personalised!

Key Summary Points (Simple steps for Marketers)

1. Make it social, leverage the platform and social graph

2. Keep it simple, get started and iterate

3. Don’t think in campaigns and silos, develop a conversational calendar

4. Think differently – harness new opportunities and experiment

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