Is Facebook Becoming The Internet?

March 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

Anyone who knows me knows I enjoy tackling controversial topics head-on. The challenge is to present both sides of the story and encourage discussion rather than confrontation. With that in mind enjoy my latest incendiary subject matter for TrustedReviews


Is Facebook Becoming The Internet?


“Is Facebook the Internet?” It was a polite question from the daughter of a friend. It took a moment to hide my incredulity, but then the realisation dawned: maybe it wasn’t such a stupid question after all.

Taken on a literal level the notion is ludicrous. The Internet is a network of networks, a global system of interconnected computers and servers all tied together through a common communication language. Facebook is merely one of millions of sites which runs on the Internet. 500 million users may make it hugely popular, but the planet has 6.9 billion (6,900m) people. Simple maths suggests that works out to just under one in 14 people using Facebook around the Globe – hardly ubiquitous. The trouble is the overall picture isn’t simple.



To use Facebook you need access to the Internet. 2010 estimates put global Internet access at 1.9 billion people. Facebook use becomes one user in 3.8. Of this Internet access, the highest penetration is in developed countries. These countries have aging populations. One in five people in America will be 65 or older by 2035. Your grandparents may have Internet access, but are they on Facebook? Given Facebook hasn’t updated its member numbers since July and given it grew from 100 million to 250 million between July 2008 and July 2009 and from 250m to 500m by July 2010 just what percentage of its global target audience does it now reach? READ ON

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