After breaking down the numbers, despite some short-term obstacles, it looks like Facebook is going to outperform. Here’s are 3 reasons why:
3) Active User Growth
Facebook broke the 1 billion monthly active user milestone in the third quarter with relatively modest fanfare. It’s a large number that ostensibly means good things for the social network, but without context it’s a pretty empty value. Big numbers are great, but how and why are they growing? And, as we’ll look at later, how are they being monetized?
Here’s a breakdown of where Facebook’s monthly active user base is growing and how fast for the two-year and year-over-year periods. All told, total Facebook monthly active users grew 73.7 percent over the past two years, and 25.0 percent year over year.
|U.S. and Canada||Europe||Asia||Rest of World|
|Q4 2010 to Q4 2012||+25.3%||+42.6%||+115.9%||+128.6%|
|Q4 2011 to Q4 2012||+7.8%||+14.0%||+40.5%||+35.1%|
The rate of overall growth is slowing, but this is to be expected. At a glance it’s easy to tell that growth in the U.S. and Canada has fallen to a single-digit pace, suggesting that these markets are closer to saturation than other geographic regions. Europe is well on its way to hitting a similar level.
The “rest of the world” segment, which notably includes South America, grew the most over the two-year period, but was outpaced by Asia in the last year. This suggests that Facebook will be seeing most of its future user growth in the near-term from Asia.