How much do you know about Facebook and its wonderful business? After doing my research for this article, I was amazed how many of these Facebook stories I had not read about previously. A fascinating company to say the least. That is why we decided to do some research homework and see what kinds of different things we could learn about them. We’ve plucked out our favorite facts from that research to bring you this selection of surprising tidbits.
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Related: Aware of These Amazing Facts on Innovation?
In this article, we will put forth many amazing facts about Facebook that surprised and interested us and that will probably surprise many of you. See how many of these facts you did not know.
Let’s get started.
First face on Facebook
Remember that sad-looking blue guy on Facebook’s homepage who used to stare you down every time you went to log in? They did away with him in 2007, so if you were late to the social networking party, then you probably have no idea what we’re talking about.
Anyway according to David Kirkpatrick’s The Facebook Effect, it turns out that that guy in the logo, created by Zuckerberg’s friend and classmate Andrew McCollum, was none other than a young Al Pacino “covered with a fog of ones and zeros — the elementary components of digital media.” Crazy, right?
Are you worried about your popularity? The average number of friends on Facebook is 340, and women tend to have somewhat more than men. Despite having hundreds of friends, most people only interact regularly with 4 to 7 people.
Half of all adult Facebook users have more than 200 friends in their network.
Facebook users differ greatly when it comes to the number of friends in their networks:
- 22 percent of adult Facebook users have between 1 and 100 Facebook friends
- 28 percent have 101-250 friends
- 35 percent have 251-500 friends
- 15 percent have more than 500 friends
Among adult Facebook users, the average (mean) number of friends is 338, and the median (midpoint) number of friends is 200. In other words, half of all Facebook users have more than 200 friends, and half have less than 200.
Younger users tend to have significantly larger friend networks than older users: 27 percent of 18-29-year-old Facebook users have more than 500 friends in their network, while 72 percent of users age 65+ have 100 friends or fewer.
So, what’s YOUR number?
Facebook stories … Facebook addiction disorder
Facebook Addiction Disorder (FAD) is a term introduced by US psychologists for those who are addicted to Facebook, and their life is affected by their free activities on Facebook. The most common effects are the loss of productivity, the inability to concentrate, the superficiality of friendships as well as isolation in the extreme cases.
It has been said that approximately 350 million people are suffering from the disorder.
Facebook stories update … Whopper Sacrifice
In January 2009, an advertising campaign from Burger King titled “WHOPPER Sacrifice” rewarded Facebook users a free “Angry Whopper” for publicly deleting ten friends, who would then receive a blunt message informing they were removed for a free hamburger.
The campaign, conceived by Burger King agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky and executed by Refresh Partners, used the tagline “Friendship Is Strong, but The Whopper Is Stronger.”
Within six months of the campaign, the application had been downloaded more than 55,000 times and over 250,000 ‘friends’ were sacrificed.
Facebook stories features … use of the like button
Facebook users “like” their friends’ content and comment on photos relatively frequently, but most don’t change their status that often. When asked about the frequency with which they engage in certain behaviors on the site, Facebook users tend to point towards “liking” content that others have posted and commenting on photos as the activities they engage in most often.
On the other hand, most users change or update their status only occasionally:
- 44 percent of Facebook users “like” content posted by their friends at least once a day, with 29 percent doing so several times per day.
- 31 percent comment on other people’s photos on a daily basis, with 15 percent doing so several times per day.
- 19 percent send private Facebook messages to their friends on a daily basis, with 10 percent sending these messages multiple times per day.
- 10 percent change or update their status on Facebook on a daily basis, with 4 percent updating their status several times per day. Some 25 percent of Facebook users say that they never change or update their Facebook status.
Access to Mark Zuckerberg’s wall
Just in case you’re not familiar with the term “URL” – type in this web address: www.facebook.com/4. We’re not sure why Zuckerberg chose the fourth ID number instead of number 1, but this is a quick and easy way to get to the original Facebook wall that is owned by its creator.
Adding the numbers 5 or 6 to the end of the URL will take you to the respective profiles of Chris Hughes and Dustin Moskovitz, Facebook co-founders and Mark’s former college roommates.
Tacking a seven onto the web address leads to the profile of Arie Hasit, another good friend of Zuckerberg from his days at Harvard. To see the first few registered profiles of other Facebook employees, check out this website.
Changes to profile pictures
The average user in 2011 uploads 18 photos every year for their Facebook profile. That number has been steadily rising every year, since 2006 when the average was only 6 per year.
And since Facebook started keeping track of which photos we use as profile pictures, the average user has used 26 Facebook profile pictures in their lifetime. Women change their profile pictures more often than men (about once every two weeks, vs. once every three weeks).
First work networks
Many of you may know about Facebook’s initial staggered rollout, where they started with Ivy League colleges before encompassing other educational institutions. But do you know who Facebook first went corporate with regarding official workplaces?
In May 2006, Apple and Microsoft were among the first, as was Intel, EA, and Amazon. Others in the first round also included Accenture, Gap, Intuit, Pepsi, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the non-profit organization Teach for America. It wasn’t until September 2006 that everyone, regardless of school or company affiliation, could join Facebook — and just over a year later the site hit 50 million active users.
Fear of missing out
Some users dislike certain aspects of Facebook, but fear of missing out on social activities (or “FOMO”) isn’t one of them.
Their dislikes start with oversharing by friends and people posting one’s personal information (such as photos) without first asking permission are among the most common.
Parents were particularly protective of images of their children, as 57 percent of Facebook users with children under the age of 18 say that people posting pictures of their children without asking permission first are something they strongly dislike about using Facebook.
On the other hand, the “fear of missing out” phenomenon resonates with only a small proportion of the Facebook population. Just 5 percent of Facebook users strongly dislike the fact that Facebook allows them to see others taking part in social activities that they were not included in — and 84 percent of users say that this aspect of Facebook life doesn’t bother them at all.
12 percent of Facebook users say that someone has asked them to “unfriend” a person in their network.
Younger users are more likely to have experienced this than older users: 19 percent of 18-29-year-old Facebook users have had someone ask them to remove a friend from their network (compared with 10 percent of 30-49-year-olds, 7 percent of 50-64-year-olds, and 5 percent of those 65 and older).
These “friend removal” requests tend to come primarily from other friends (35 percent), or from a current (23 percent) or former (12 percent) spouses or romantic partners. Some 38 percent of those who received this type of request say that they were asked to remove a friend from their Facebook network, while 22 percent have been invited to unfriend a former romantic partner.
Keep learning: 6 Fantastic Facts about the Changing Social Media Landscape
The bottom line
Facebook has grown to be a business that tackles so many different things all at once that at times it’s hard to keep track or even fully comprehend it. And for every amazing fact, we know about there are probably at least ten more that are not known to the public.
If we want to keep up, we would have to rewrite this article at least every several years, wouldn’t we?
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Mike Schoultz is a digital marketing and customer service expert. With 48 years of business experience, he consults on and writes about topics to help improve the performance of small business. Find him on G+, Facebook, Twitter, Digital Spark Marketing, and LinkedIn.