Social Media Trends 2013: 1.5 Billion People Using Facebook

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That’s right! By the end of 2013 there will be 1.3 to 1.5 billion people using Facebook.

As I predicted a year ago, Facebook will reach 1.1 billion visitors by the end of 2012. I wrote about the countries that have populations big enough to matter but have not been taken over by Facebook yet. Now a year later the picture has changed. And you can see that Facebook has grown more than 90 percent in just one year in these countries.

facebook user trends 2013


As I predicted year ago, once the kingdom of Orkut Brazil is now dominated by Facebook. 29.3 million users in October 2011 has jumped more than 105 percent to 60,25 million. With this Brazil passed India as the second country with most Facebook users after USA. But there’s still some room to grow, mostly from new people starting to use computers. Facebook’s penetration in online population is 79.34%. Facebook will see 100 million users in Brazil.


A year ago in India Facebook had 37.37 million active users. With 46.15% of online population already using Facebook. We predicted that number of users will reach 45 million. Well, that was way too conservative. In October 2012 India reached 60.2 million active monthly users which makes it #3 in the ranking of all countries. Facebook penetration in online population is a staggering 74.33%. I predict that as more people in India start using computers, so will they start using Facebook. In some cases Facebook might BE the reason to star using computers. 100 million users in India by the end of next year does not seem like a stretch.


A year ago there was 4.6 million active Facebook users in Russia. Now it’s 7.1 million Facebook users or 55.3 percent more than last year. The slow adoption rate is caused by and that are the major competing social networking sites in Russia. It is hard to tell how fast Facebook will grow. Seems that the network effect is not working very well for Facebook in a relatively self-contained market that has a different language and not many outside connections. However even in this case I think Facebook should push it to the top even there.


Last time I wrote that: “Japan has more than tripled its Facebook user base in 12 months”. Sam thing happened again. Japan has more than tripled its Facebook user base in 12 months from 5 million to 16.3 million users. That is an amazing 225.36 percent growth. As I predicted the the rate of growth is accelerating in absolute terms. Penetration in online population is still low with 16.41% using Facebook and this means that Facebook has a potential of 40 to 50 million users during the next year.

South Korea

Not a big jump compared to other emerging countries in absolute numbers but South Korea posted 124.51 percent growth over the last 12 months. This brings the Facebook active monthly user count to 9,43 million from 4.2 million in the end of October 2011. I don’t know South Korea’s social networking market well enough to understand the competition. My guess is still that Facebook will just need some more time to make network effect work its magic for them. This means that by the end of next year there should be at least 20 million Facebook users in South Korea as the penetration in online population is still low 23.91%.


No trespassing! Still no pulse! China is continuing to block Facebook. Facebook has not been too successful to get that ban removed.

Now where is the new wave of growth coming to Facebook? The countries mentioned above and some others that have large population but low Facebook penetration rates (Nigeria for one) will push up Facebook’s user count by few hundred million.

This means that by the end of next year we may expect Facebook active monthly users somewhere between 1.3 and 1.5 billion. And that does not include China.

What do you think? When will Facebook stop growing and will it get access to China?

Priit Kallas

Priit is the founder and CEO of DreamGrow Digital, an internet marketing and social media company. With his 20+ years internet marketing experience he is Helping companies to understand and use the digital marketing to reach their target audiences. He's also writing on a personal growth website He has spoken at hundreds of seminars and conferences on different aspects of internet marketing. Priit is also the organizer of Digital Elite Camp, a leading traffic and conversion event.

4 Responses

  1. Zack Moris says:

    Yes, China does have its own social network. QQ, Renren, and Kaixin, to name a few. I believe the USA is pushing facebook on the entire world, presumably so the U.S. government can keep an eye on not only its own citizens, but citizens of the entire world! One thing that few people like to mention is that facebook was linked to some riots in China’s Xinjiang, and Tibet. This is why facebook was blocked. Facebook has also been linked to other state dept destabilisation efforts in Tunisia, Egypt, Iran, Venezuela, and Russia. One of the reasons I don’t use facebook is because of the cozy relationship it has with western intelligence agencies. Unless China wants another riot on its hands, it won’t open up to facebook. The good thing about China is that they have a strong IT sector. Google, although allowed in China, is not used, because they have a better search engine called Baidu. So, even if facebook was allowed, it will most likely be unpopular, and people will continue using the established sites. China is in a win win situation by blocking out wikipedia, youtube, and twitter. By blocking out foreign sites, they not only block out disinformation, that has proven to be disruptive, not only in China, but throughout the world, China can also promote their own sites more effectively, such as Youku, Baike, and Weibo. By the way, isn’t it frightening that we have Phd students in the west who believe that China is communist. One can only imagine how ignorant the “uneducated” populations of the west are. This will be one of the reasons for the collapse of western hegemony.

  2. Alex Morris says:

    I believe China have Facebook alternatives, presumably so the government can keep an eye on its citizens! Rmember, too, that Wikipedia (amongst other sites like YouTube and Twitter) are also banned in China. I wrote a dissertation on freedom of speech in the media and this was one of my central chapters; unless there’s a major governmental reform I can’t see this rising economy allowing it. They are a communist state, after all.

    As for Facebook’s future I think the hysteria will die down in time. Something will surely come along and replace it. Either that or it will take over the world and Mark Zuckerberg will be our Supreme Overlord.

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