12 years, 12 Memorable Facts about Facebook
Article by George Norman
On 04 Feb 2016
Facebook just turned 12. The website that is today known as the biggest and most popular social network in the world, was launched on February 4, 2004. I guess congratulations are in order. Happy birthday Facebook and many returns of the day!

On this joyous occasion, I present to you 12 interesting and amazing Facebook facts you may or may not know about. Check them out below.


1. Facebook by the numbers

Facebook has close to 1.6 billion monthly active users and more than 1 billion daily active users, according to the company’s latest quarterly results. On average, people spend 20+ minutes per day on Facebook, but the average US user spends 40 minutes a day on Facebook. The country with the most active users is Canada.

More than 350 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every day. Videos too! So many videos are being uploaded to Facebook that in November 2014, Facebook exceeded YouTube video uploads.

Most of Facebook's revenue comes from advertising. The company’s total revenue for 2014 for example was of $12.466 billion, with a net profit of $2.94 billion. Facebook spends the money it makes to find new ways to connect people.

In 2012, Facebook purchased Instagram for about $1 billion. Instagram has more than 300 million users now. In 2014, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for about $19 billion. WhatsApp is getting very close to reaching 1 billion users (it has 990 million users as of January 2016).

2. You can’t count on your Facebook friends

The average Facebook user has 200 friends. But it doesn’t matter if you have 50, 100, 200, or 5000 friends on Facebook. You can’t count on them. Out of all your Facebook friends, you can only count of 4, according to Robin Dunbar, professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford University.

In his research report, Robin Dunbar explains that “respondents who had unusually large networks did not increase the numbers of close friendships they had, but rather added more loosely defined acquaintances into their friendship circle.”

"Friendships, in particular, have a natural decay rate in the absence of contact, and social media may well function to slow down the rate of decay. However, that alone may not be sufficient to prevent friendships eventually dying naturally if they are not occasionally reinforced by face-to-face interaction," said Dunbar.

3. Using Facebook at work isn’t as bad as you think

Sure, your boss or manager may not like it that you’re on Facebook at work. But is that really such a big deal?

According to a 2009 study by Dr. Brent Coker, taking a quick break to go on Facebook actually boosts productivity. “People who do surf the internet for fun at work - within a reasonable limit of less than 20 per cent of their total time in the office - are more productive by about nine per cent than those who don't. Firms spend millions on software to block their employees from watching videos on YouTube, using social networking sites like Facebook or shopping online under the pretence that it costs millions in lost productivity. However that's not always the case,” said Dr. Coker, Melbourne University Department of Management and Marketing.

And according to a 2015 study by BambooHR, Facebook is at the bottom of the list when it comes to wasting time on non-work related activities. Even though most employers fear that using social media is a major time-consuming distraction, it really isn’t. Other distractions are!

4. Teens like Facebook, but it’s not their favorite social network

Teens use Facebook to stay in touch with others, and some 83% of them are friends with their parents. A 2014 report from Frank N. Magid and Associates found that the number of teens who use Facebook has steadily decreased since 2012, when the percentage of teens who were on Facebook was as high as 95%.

A 2015 Piper Jaffray survey of American teens found that teens prefer other social networks above Facebook. Teens prefer Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat more than Facebook.

5. Zuckerberg is red-green color blind

And that’s why Facebook is mostly blue. Facebook uses a mostly blue color scheme because its co-founder and CEO is red-green color blind.

Here are a few other things you might not know about Zuckerberg: he doesn’t own a TV, he doesn’t like to speak in public, his salary as Facebook CEO is just $1, and his Facebook profile is unblockable. You simply cannot block Zuckerberg on Facebook.

6. Shakira is the most popular celebrity on Facebook

No, Kim Kardashian does not rule Facebook. She may rule Instagram, but she does not rule Facebook. With more than 104 million likes, the most popular celebrity on Facebook is none other than Colombian singer, songwriter, dancer, record producer, choreographer, and model, Shakira.

Eminem comes in second with 92 million likes and Rihanna comes in 3rd with 81.5 million likes. Kim Kardashian has a meager 27 million likes in case you were wondering.

7. You can make payments with Messenger

In the spring of 2015, Facebook introduced payments in Messenger, making it possible to use the Messenger app to send and receive money.

To send money to a friend, you need to start a message, tap the $ icon, specify an amount, tap the Pay button, and then enter your debit card details. To receive money, you have to open a conversation, tap Add Card, and enter your debit card info.

Here are a few more things you may not know about:
8. Facebook will help you get over your ex

Back in November 2015, Facebook started to test some tools that can help people deal with breakups. These tools show up when you change your relationship status to indicate you’re are no longer in a relationship. Thanks to these tools, you can choose to see fewer posts from your ex in your news feed, you can limit the photos, videos or status updates that your former partner will see, and you can untag yourself from posts that include your ex.

And speaking about breakups, a 2015 study from Western University showed that 88% of Facebook users had 'creeped' on their ex-partner following a breakup.

9. A slap in the face is better than wasting time on Facebook

Maneesh Sethi realized that he’s wasting too much time on Facebook isn’t good for productivity. So he put an ad on Craigslist and hired a girl to slap him in the face every time he’s wasting time on Facebook instead of working. According to Maneesh, this quadruped his productivity.

10. MySpace passed on buying Facebook

When Facebook was still in its infancy, everyone was comparing it to MySpace. And in the spring of 2005. MySpace had the opportunity to purchase Facebook. MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe met with Zuckerberk to talk about possibly buying Facebook. When Zuckerberg asked for $75 million, DeWolfe said no. Where is MySpace now? I doubt anyone cares!

Over the years, many other companies offered to buy Facebook, including some of the biggest names in the software industry, mainly Google and Microsoft. Back in 2007, Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer asked Zuckerberg “why don't we just buy you for $15 billion?”

11. Facebook can “memorialize” your account

Let’s face it, you’re not going to live forever. I know you’re not going to pass away anytime soon, but still, have you put any thought into what is going to happen to your account when you do pass away?

Facebook did think about what will happen to an account once the account holder passes away. That is it introduced a “memorialized accounts” and a “legacy account feature.

12. Six degrees of separation? More like three and a half!

As part of its 12th anniversary celebrations, Facebook released an updated degrees of separation statistic. You’re familiar with the 6 degrees of separation theory, the one that we’re just 6 steps away from someone else, right?

On Facebook, that value is a lot lower. The level of separation between a typical pair of Facebook users is just 3.57 degrees. You're three and a half steps away from Mark Zuckerberg, presented below celebrating Friends Day at Facebook's HQ.

Friends Day: Celebrating the Importance of Connections – that's the theme Facebook went for its 12 anniversary.

"To help our community celebrate the importance of friendship, we’re delivering a personalized Friends Day video to millions of people around the world. These videos stitch together special moments with your friends in a short film that can be edited and shared. People can view their video at the top of News Feed, or by clicking “Watch Yours” below a friend’s Friends Day video."

Or you can just click here to get started with your own Friends Day video.

Tags: Facebook, anniversary, fun facts, stats
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
You can follow him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter

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