May Pacebuk Ka Na?-2

TO THE DISMAY OF YAHOO

 

Now you might ask, what particularly makes Filipinos anywhere around the world so attracted to Facebook. After all, it didn’t take long for them to become the dominant users of Flicker in just a few years to the dismay of Yahoo. Analysts agree that at least five important factors have together contributed to Facebook’s popularity with Filipino users:

 

Intrinsic Design. An organized, simple and easy-to-use interface with very little ‘in-your-face’ advertising pitches as compared with its competitors. Filipinos generally tend to join in or buy things on recommendation from family members or friends. Reputation is what matters most, not hard-sell, which turns them off;

 

Mass Appeal. It isn’t targeted towards a specific demographic like many other aspiring players even if, ironically, Facebook started out as a network for Harvard and other Ivy-league university students in the United States. And it’s not just exclusively for young people anymore. One of the older users of Facebook today is a lovely Filipina lady widow in her 80s who lives in California who goes by the name of Tita (or Auntie) Grace;

 

It’s Focus on Activity. Facebook is focused on ‘connecting’ as opposed to entertainment. It is used for multiple net-working activities – reuniting dis-tant relatives, classmates and old friends, business networking, dating, sha-ring photos, comments and feedback, status updates and more. Essen-tially, Facebook is Reunion, LinkedIn, Yahoo! Personals, Flickr and Twitter all rolled into one convenient package. Filipinos being highly social beings that they are love mixing up stuff like that so much so because it reflects some of their mix-this-with-that home-grown dishes or desserts like halo-halo.

 

Internal Structure. It has many creative and useful features that include applications, invites, I Like, requests, email messaging, chat, file uploads, link-sharing and an open architecture – including the masterstroke of open-ing its platform to applications developers, many of whom by the way, are Filipinos. All this has increased word-of-mouth and visitor engagement through a multitude of Filipino-inspired fan, community and group pages that bring together Filipinos wherever they may be around the world. And that includes those residing in New Zealand.

 

Respect for Privacy. Members have more control over what and who sees their content than in many other social networks where non-members can access personal content, a concern for many people and Filipinos are no ex-ception.

 

WHAT COMES AROUND GOES AROUND

 

It is to humanity’s disfavour to try and bring down those they have raised to the heavens back down to the dregs of the earth. Recent news reports and negativity around Facebook losing audience are not reflected by actual figures as this post is being writ-ten.

 

While usage numbers may be reaching a saturation point in some places around the world, the global picture is still one of exuberant growth for Face-book, The table below shows the Top-30 countries by number of active Face-book users according to data made available from Facebook.

 

Top-30 Countries With Highest Number of Facebook Users July 2011

(Data from Facebook API and then compared to Facebook usage statistics lists)

 

Rank

Country

July 2008

July 2009

July 2010

July 2011

Growth

1

USA

27,811,560

69,378,980

125,881,220

151,350,260

20.23%

2

Indonesia

209,760

6,496,960

25,912,960

38,860,460

49.97%

3

UK

11,171,540

18,711,160

26,543,600

29,880,860

12.57%

4

India

711,520

3,236,140

10,547,240

29,475,740

179.46%

5

Turkey

3,464,640

12,382,320

22,552,540

29,459,200

30.62%

6

Mexico

1,042,820

3,644,400

12,978,440

26,770,300

106.27%

7

Philippines

162,640

2,719,560

14,600,300

25,307,800

73.34%

8

France

2,461,140

10,781,480

18,942,220

22,713,240

19.91%

9

Brazil

119,080

1,015,400

4,757,200

21,239,380

346.47%

10

Italy

491,100

10,218,400

16,647,260

19,806,660

18.98%

11

Germany

618,080

3,136,680

9,949,760

19,459,280

95.58%

12

Canada

9,621,820

11,961,020

15,497,900

16,597,760

7.1%

13

Argentina

417,980

4,906,220

10,542,040

15,642,240

48.38%

14

Colombia

2,412,000

5,760,300

10,226,820

14,631,600

43.07%

15

Spain

695,900

5,773,200

10,610,080

14,409,960

35.81%

16

Malaysia

450,580

1,995,040

7,317,520

11,221,040

53.34%

17

Thailand

114,180

697,340

4,216,760

10,612,380

151.67%

18

Australia

3,217,380

6,053,560

9,009,660

10,419,100

15.64%

19

Taiwan

71,340

685,460

6,745,160

9,932,740

47.26%

20

Venezuela

966,700

3,578,740

6,686,300

9,079,180

35.79%

21

Chile

2,105,820

4,830,680

6,944,540

8,527,460

22.79%

22

Egypt

783,440

1,618,040

3,518,460

7,885,820

119.35%

23

Poland

83,180

619,180

2,772,540

6,363,100

129.50%

24

Peru

148,940

839,220

2,551,700

6,260,980

145.37%

25

Pakistan

236,340

765,480

1,937,760

4,795,200

147.46%

26

Russia

67,760

412,840

1,244,280

4,648,080

273.56%

27

Netherlands

211,920

1,061,480

2,644,460

4,513,280

70.67%

28

Sweden

1,141,700

2,287,240

3,798,020

4,403,300

15.94%

29

Belgium

531,740

2,372,460

3,505,920

4,255,180

21.37%

30

So. Africa

878,120

1,720,820

2,884,080

4,095,280

42%

Source: http://www.nickburcher.com/search?q=Facebook+usage+figures+2011

 

Given this, you might be led to believe that something launched in the USA like Facebook would be dominated by users who actually live and work there. In a way, we’d have to agree that this is largely due to the size of its own population and the high percentage of them who are actually ‘wired’ to the Internet. But if you take in the growth rate as another metric, the Philippines’ rate is 3.63-times faster that of the United States, and that’s only comparing July 2011 with July 2010 figures.

 

That’s not all. Given Filipinos’ ingrained love affair with digital gadgets that are Internet-ready as their means to connect to each other with a recent announce-ment that Skype (the world’s most popular VoIP service) is integrating with Facebook (now the world’s leading social network with over 750-milion users) to make it easier to call and video chat with friends and family on the social net-work, it’s likely that metric will continue to grow from strength to strength.

 

So, Uy! May Pacebuk Ka Na?

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