The tales of Facebook's demise have been greatly exaggerated. And that growth is not just outside the United States. New research expects Facebook users to grow by at least 30 percent this year, reaching a total of 1.26 billion global users by next year.
That research by Internet research marketing company eMarketer is basing those numbers on strong growth in the Asia-Pacific, Middle East, African and Latin American regions. The eMarketer research is based on the number of monthly active users who access the platform at least once a month from any device. That number distinguishes itself from Facebook estimates, which count all monthly active users, including brands' pages and other similar accounts.
That means 15 percent of the worldwide population is currently using Facebook, eMarketer found. That number represents 43 percent of Internet users worldwide who also use Facebook. That number will continue to grow in coming years as 55 percent of Internet users will also use Facebook by 2017, eMarketer estimates. Currently, 63 percent of social media users are on Facebook.
"Despite some reports to the contrary, the collective body of research figures aggregated and analyzed by eMarketer suggests that Facebook’s user base is not declining in mature markets such as the U.S., though some users may be spending less time on Facebook and more time on Instagram — which Facebook owns, but many research firms track separately," the eMarketer report said. "Meanwhile, older adults in mature markets continue to increase usage of Facebook, eMarketer estimates."
Facebook adoption is highest in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and other Latin America countries, with 66 percent of Internet users also using Facebook. The Middle East and North America has more than 60 percent of Internet users on Facebook as well. More than half of Internet users in Western Europe use Facebook, while 45 percent of Eastern and Central European Internet users are also on Facebook. Facebook penetration among Internet users was lowest in the Asia-Pacific region.
However, the Asia-Pacific region — which includes countries like India, Japan and Australia among others — has more than 305 million Facebook users, the most of any region in the world. Latin America have the second most worldwide Facebook users with just fewer than 200 million. The Middle East and Africa, North America and Western Europe all have around 150 million Facebook users.