Facebook is ubiquitous on the internet and comes in many forms. Virtually everyone at least knows about Facebook, and most people have a Facebook account, but what does Facebook’s core audience actually look like? Read on to understand the demographics of Facebook users.
Understanding Facebook’s audience
A caveat to discussing the demographics of Facebook users is that gaining a true picture of Facebook’s audience is tricky, as it depends on your definition of what counts as ‘Facebook’. For instance, in addition to Facebook itself, Facebook also owns Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. Each of these apps has different audiences, but should they all count towards Facebook? Likewise, the Facebook app is installed by default on many phones and can’t be uninstalled, but that doesn’t mean people actively use it. Should those installs count towards Facebook’s demographics? This article will focus on users who actively visit the Facebook website, but different articles may have different interpretations.
Active monthly users
A key measure of any website is how many people actively use the site on a month-to-month basis. By this metric, Facebook is one of the most actively used sites in the world. Facebook registered nearly 2.5 billion monthly active users in the last quarter of 2019. This number has been growing steadily ever since Facebook’s launch.
Popularity by country
In terms of where Facebook is most popular, India is a clear winner with over 260 million users. This is followed by the United States at 180 million users, then Indonesia, Brazil and Mexico.
Mobile vs desktop usage
When it comes to which device most people use to interact with Facebook, there is a clear winner. A staggering 98% of users use their phone to access Facebook. Only 2% of users choose to use Facebook with only a laptop or desktop device. This makes sense when you consider the above demographic of where Facebook is most popular; in markets like India and Indonesia, virtually everybody uses a mobile phone and desktop usage is comparatively rare.
Facebook users by age and gender
Facebook’s most popular demographic is male users aged 25-34, which represent 19% of monthly active users. The most active age demographic among female users is also 25-34, which represents 13% of monthly active users. Both males and females aged 18-24 represent the second most active age demographic, collectively accounting for 24% of monthly active users.
Facebook as a social platform
The average Facebook user has 155 friends. However, the definition of ‘friend’ is very vague and this number more generally represents social reach than the number of people a Facebook user knows well.
Facebook users by educational attainment
Facebook started off as a social network for college and university students and required using an email address from such an institution to register. Those requirements are long gone, but it seems these origins still leave their mark, as over 70% of Facebook users have some level of college education.
Facebook by level of income
Facebook market penetration reaches deeply into all strata of society. Facebook reaches 85% of US households with an income of <$30k and 86% of households with an income of >$100k. This information is particularly useful, since Facebook advertising allows you to target demographics by income level. Whatever income range you target, market penetration does not dip below 81% of households at a specified income level.