Where in the World is Facebook usage GROWING and SHRINKING?

Facebook painted a rosy picture a couple of weeks ago when they reported their Q1 earnings. The social network now has 1.11 billion monthly active users, 665 million daily active users and profit went up to $219 million compared to $205 million in the year-ago period.

When Facebook announced 1 billion users last year, Mark Zuckerberg said that the next 1 billion is likely to come from emerging markets like those in EMEA and South America rather than more mature markets like the US where it’s reaching saturation point.

Using SimilarWeb PRO, I looked into the regions with biggest growth potential for Facebook. To do this, I looked at the countries where usage has increased the most over the past 6 months. I also looked at the countries where the usage of the Facebook is declining to get a full picture of Facebook’s global traffic trends.

Top 20 Fastest Growing Countries for Facebook


Zuckerberg’s prediction was right. After hitting a ceiling in mature markets, growth is mostly coming from EMEA and emerging countries. Brazil tops the list and it it’s already a crucial market for Facebook, bringing over 10% of its overall traffic.  The country is social media-obsessed with more than 65m Facebook users, 40m Twitter users and 29 million Orkut users.

Europe is another region with significant growth potential – big increases in France, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Slovakia and Portugal. Facebook’s newly appointed VP EMEA Nicola Mendelsohn will have a tough job as the economic crisis strikes though many of these countries, which caused Facebook’s ad revenues in the region to decline from $440 million in Q1 2012 to $423 million in Q1 2013. Growth in usage might come from these countries but they’ll have to work hard to ensure their revenues grow in parallel.

Top 20 Countries Where Facebook’s Web Traffic Declined 


Here’s the bad news. Web traffic in some of its biggest markets including US, UK, Italy and Germany is in decline. But he biggest loser is Russia, a country where VK is still the dominating social force. Seems like Zuckerberg’s visit to Russian Prime Minister last October didn’t have much of an impact…

Asia is another region Facebook should worry about India, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore are showing big declines in traffic. Interestingly, some of these countries are adopting other social networks; for example, Twitter has experienced a boom in Japan over the past 6 months, with traffic coming from japan growing by a whopping 47.5% in the same period.

This data doesn’t take into account mobile traffic so it’s important to mention that some of these countries might be providing growth via increase in mobile usage, where Facebook has focusing its efforts in the past year.

Surprised? Shocked? Wait until our upcoming post where we’ll be reviewing country growth for other social networks which are also working hard to take over the world including LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter.

If there’s a website you’d like us to analyze or review in an upcoming blog, leave a comment or get in touch with us via Facebook.



About the Author -

Head of Brand & Strategy for SimilarWeb. Obsessed with web measurement, the internet, pop music and great TV. Wannabe cool-hunter.

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