The map above shows the Facebook friendships from the approximately 1.1 billion active Facebook users in 2013.
Amazingly, that number has grown by another 450 million people, with Facebook now claiming to have 1.55 billion active users and this despite some rather obvious black holes above.
The most obvious one is China, where Facebook is basically blocked by the Great Firewall of China. Although strong local competition from services such as QQ (843 million active users), WeChat (650 million active users), and Qzone (645 million active users) might mean Facebook would face an uphill battle if it’s ever allowed to compete freely.
To see this in action, just look at Russia, another obvious black hole above, and a country where strong home grown competition is beating Facebook.
VK has more active users in Russia than Facebook does, and is also popular in many former Soviet countries such as Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. In total it claims to have 300 million registered accounts and 71 million daily users.
North Korea is a 3rd black hole, which is only visible when you look to the north of hyper-connected South Korea.
Other notable gaps include the Sahara desert, Canada’s Arctic, Greenland and central Australia, but these are due to the lack of people rather than any sort of government ban.
With the exception of these gaps, the map is more or less a heatmap of human population density or at least internet connected population density.
To learn more about Facebook have a look at the following books:
- The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World
- The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal
- My Facebook for Seniors (2nd Edition)
- The Social Network (movie)
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