The Only 10 Things More Popular Than Facebook

Chinese Muslims

Photo: AP

Almost two years ago, we published a post called “100 things more popular than Twitter.”The point was to illustrate that Twitter, wasn’t nearly as big of a deal as people in tech and media were making it out to be. Things on the list included that horrible Catwoman movie and Kenny G’s latest album.

So, following news that Goldman Sachs would invest in Facebook at a $50 billion valuation – and that other banks were looking to buy in at a $60 billion valuation – we decided to do a new version of that old story, but focus on Facebook instead.

The point, once again, would be to prove that an over-hyped tech company isn’t as huge as the press makes it out to be.

But then something funny happened on the way to a century.

Finding 100 things that are more “popular” than Facebook proved enormously difficult.

In fact, as you will discover in a moment, we struggled to find 10 “things” – companies, products, or anything else that a human opts-into – that are legitimately more popular than Facebook.

Given this difficulty, we’re going to stick our necks out and suggest that these are the only 10 things more popular than Facebook. If we’re wrong, and you can think of something legitimate, let us know in the comments and we’ll add a slide.

Get ready for a challenge, though. Facebook has 650 million users. The only way to get bigger than that is to be a genuine global phenomenon.

That’s why the site is able to foment revolutions like no invention since Gutenberg’s.

That’s why advertisers will combine to spend billions to reach Facebook’s audience this year.

That’s why Mark Zuckerberg and his cofounders are billionaires before 30.

HINDUISM: Including these pilgrims in India, there are about 950 million Hindus in the world.

ISLAM: These three guys in China are among the 1.57 billion Muslims in the world

CATHOLICISM: 1.166 billion people call themselves Catholic – these Vietnamese nuns and pilgrims among them

THE MOVIES: Americans alone bought 970 million movie tickets last year.

CHINESE NEW YEAR: 700 million people traveled somewhere to celebrate the Chinese New Year this year

MICROSOFT: There are 2 billion PCs out there. Most of them run Windows. Also, Comscore says 800 million people visit Microsoft Web sites each month

THE WORLD CUP: 700 million people watched the World Cup final live on TV

CHILEAN MINERS: One billion people watched coverage of the Chilean mining rescue

WALMART: 200 million people go to Walmart every week.

GOOGLE: Comscore says almost a billion people visit Google each month

DID NOT MAKE THE LIST: There are only 647 million protestant Christians in the world.

BONUS: Apple has sold 275 million iPods. Considering Facebook is free, that's impressive competition.

WHY NOT COMPUTERS? There are about 2 billion computers worldwide. We didn't put PCs on the list because it's a generic item. There are a lot of pencils out there too.

So, who's going to make bank off this global phenomenon?

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