Facebook, with over 120 million users, is often an important part of a company internet marketing strategy. The site has witnessed double digit growth rates in the past few years. With the penetration nearing saturation point in many age groups, growth in coming years is likely to be moderate.
In the US, the number of Facebook users was 84.3 million in 2009, 116.8 million in 2010 and this year it is expected to be around 132.5 million. According eMareter, the projected figures for the next two years are 143.4 million and 152.1 million respectively.
The figures indicate that in spite of high penetration, the site is expected to continue growing. Its diversification and evolution into an all-purpose internet destination is the main driver for its growth. Facebook is not just a social networking site anymore, its functions extend to areas like gaming, instant messaging, video sharing and emailing. The best thing is that the users get all these facilities on a single site.
On the whole, the percentage of the US internet users using Facebook was 39% in 2009, 52.2% in 2010 and the projections for the current and the next two years are; 57.1%, 60%, and 62% respectively. Increased penetration among older age groups like 35-64 and above will drive the site’s growth. Although older age groups are likely to witness more growth because of higher penetration potential, the younger age groups between 12 and 34 years remain the most active users.
Users between ages 18-44 represent 56.7% of the Facebook users. This makes it a very attractive platform for many marketers.