Facebook is BIG
International Telecommunications Union (ITU) statistics1 shows that over 33% of the 7 billion world population are using Internet, out of which 45% are below the age of 25. ITU statistics also show that over 5.9 billion (which is over 80% of world population) are using mobile phones.
Over 70% of online population use social networks, with majority on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Facebook online population has reached over 835 million by end of March 20122, out of which more than 400 million people use Facebook daily3.
Growing fast in the Maldives
There are over 135 thousand Maldivian Facebook users4, out of which 61% are males and 39% females; the largest age group is 25 to 34 with a total of 48,737 users (36%), followed by users in 18 to 24 with just about the same number of users. Within the last 5 weeks, 2700 new users from the Maldives joined Facebook, while 21000+ users joined this year. Facebook penetration in the Maldives is 34% in comparison to the country’s population, and 153% in relation to the number of Internet users.
Out of about seventy two thousand users who have specified relationship status, shows interesting statistics; 25000+ are single, 12000+ are in a relationship, 30,000+ are married (out of which 15000+ are parents, 6000+ newlyweds within last 6 months, and about 6000 newly weds within the last year), and 2700+ are engaged to be married.
53000+ users from the Maldives access Facebook from mobile devices, out of which are 20000+ iOS devices and another 36000+ smartphone/tablets. I always thought iOS devices would be significantly high compared to Androids. However, the available statistics shows that 54% of the mobile devices are from Apple, running iOS, and remaining 46% are Androids. Among the Android users, 36% are using varieties of Samsung phones.
The most recent record of total Internet users in the Maldives, that I could find, refers to 2009 census records5 showing around 88000 users. This could have exponentially increased over the last 3 years. In that context, the 153% Facebook penetration in relation to Internet users might not be the correct figure/estimate. Having said that, out of the 135,000 Facebook users, several thousands could possibly be online users with multiple accounts.
With more than a quarter of the population on the world’s largest social network, socializing pretty much on a regular basis, it is a major platform, for relatively cheaper marketing compared to the ordinary means such as print-based media, and television/radio. In that regard, “Traditional vs. Social Media Marketing” by Social Media Quickstarter is a good article to refer to.
The amount of information each of us put on the social networks can be used in many different ways. Not many of us are security-conscious, or even care to think about the misuse of such information, or threats it could present to them.
Criminals are highly-adaptive at exploiting every available opportunity, and exponential developments in Information & Communication Technology, the transformation of our society, and the unbelievable penetration rate of such technology in the Maldives, in such a short period, when most of the community are not even aware of the drawbacks and what/how they are falling prey to, probably presents many more problems than the effectiveness and efficiency it has brought.
With over 40% of the island nation's population present on Facebook, embracing and accepting technological innovations, we gotta make the most of it, at the same time keeping in mind the consequences of our actions.
Well, I wouldn’t go too deep on cybercrime in this article. Will come back on that later.
*Image taken from here: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-7-Z2ayTporQ/TbWHevumDtI/AAAAAAAAADg/G_idtSkH_no/s1600/facebook-world.jpg
1 ITU, The world in 2011 - ICT Facts and Figures: http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/facts/2011/material/ICTFactsFigures2011.pdf
2 Facebook Growth Stats for 2011-2012: http://www.internetworldstats.com/facebook.htm
3 Wauters,R; Over 1 Billion People Use Social Netowrk Today, And Other Stats: http://techcrunch.com/2011/09/14/over-1-billion-people-use-social-networks-today-and-other-stats/
4 Social Baker, Maldives Facebook Statistics, Penetration, Demography: http://www.socialbakers.com/facebook-statistics/maldives
5 National Readiness Assessment for Establishing a National CIRT, January 2012: http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/asp/CMS/Docs/CIRT_ABBMN_Assessment.pdf