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A radio futurologist writing about what happens when radio and new platforms collide
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Truth in numbers – according to Facebook

Posted on Friday, March 9th, 2012 at 12:51 pm. #


Truth in numbers.


That’s the amount of people aged between 16-24 in the UK – according to 2010 UK population estimates from the Office of National Statistics (downloaded and the relevant document unzipped here).

So, how many of those are registered on Facebook? Not everyone will be, of course, so what’s your guess? 6 million? 6 and a half million?

The easiest way to find out any Facebook stat is to create an ad on it, and look at what Facebook thinks it can deliver. So, let’s ask for UK only, 16-24 only, and check the box marked “require exact age match” so we’re precisely within those age ranges, and see how many people Facebook will reach.


Wasn’t expecting that…

(Hat-tip: Rachel Clarke)


Bearded Ian
commenting at March 9th, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Lots of these will be pre-teens lying about their ages over the last few years to get round the ban on under 13′s joining the site.

Dan Thornton
commenting at March 9th, 2012 at 1:28 pm

In addition to Bearded Ian’s very good point about pre-teens, there are also additional accounts being set up by people either wanting multiple profiles for various reasons.

Paul Fairburn
commenting at March 9th, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Amazing how wrong the UK census can be! Joke!

I did the same for the US, based on 2010 census figures, admittedly.
Census: Number of 16-24s – 39,383,522
Facebook Reach of 16-24s – 46,066,200 !

That’s a 15% over-estimate in the US (assuming they’re all on FB)
and an 18% over-estimate in the UK (assuming all signed up)

Facebook themselves estimate 5-6% of accounts are fake. Must be higher than that?

That said… Interesting how (as far as I can see) Google+ doesn’t even quote Google+ sign ups… Instead they always quote people who use Google products that have Google+ features, which is most of their products.

Time spent on these networks is also massively in favour of Facebook. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-28/google-users-spent-less-time-on-site-in-january-comscore-finds.html

Thanks for the tag on Google+ (if a tree falls but there’s no one there to hear it…)

Frankie Roberto
commenting at March 9th, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Breaking news: people lie! :)

Peter Nicholls
commenting at March 21st, 2012 at 7:13 pm

I believe it also depends on how people call themselves british or from the UK, but not necessarily in the UK. And sometimes multiple profiles, or business that have profiles instead of pages. It’s complexicated. :p

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