Statistics Provided By Facebook Lack Context

Imagining life without Facebook is horrifying for many of the more than 500 million users spread throughout the world.

Photos would need to be shared via Picasa, Flikr, e-mail, or printed, anniversaries and birthdays would need to be written down within calendars, and poking your co-worker would likely place any existing personal relationships in jeopardy.

It is an inarguable fact that Facebook has forever changed how we live our lives.

In an attempt to satiate the public’s desire for information, Facebook provides several bits of information about its user base via a statistics page

Below are five of the nineteen statistics provided, as well as a few questions or notes raised by each.

Statistic 1: People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook.

Response: At 500 million users, 700 billion minutes per month averages out to 1,400 minutes (or ~23 hours) per month, or ~45 minutes per day, per user. However, how did Facebook tally the 700 billion minutes? Does it include time on a mobile device?

Statistic 2: 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day.

Response: What defines an “active user”?

Statistic 3: More than 30 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each month.

Response: What defines a share or piece of content? Does the act of uploading a piece of content to Facebook constitute a share? Is a status update a piece of content? At 500 million users, 30 billion pieces of content equates to 60 per month, or two per day, per user.

Statistic 4: Average user creates 90 pieces of content each month.

Response: What constitutes a piece of content? Does a single user uploading a 500 picture photo album constitute 500 pieces of content?

Statistic 5: There are more than 250 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices.

Response: What qualifies as “access?” Surely reaching Facebook via a web browser or mobile app qualifies, but what if you receive a notification via e-mail?


Adam Zuckerman, an entrepreneurial attorney with an MBA, is a blogger and people connector inspired by the intersections of business, law, media, technology, and all things outdoors. Connect with him on Twitter.