India Will Have More Facebook Users Than U.S. By 2016

Social Networking Users Worldwide - eMarketer
eMarketer data

The latest numbers from eMarketer estimate that 1.61 billion people use social networking sites monthly, a 14% increase from 2012.  And by 2017, the number of social network users will rise to 2.33 billion people. So which countries are on top in terms of social networking penetration and growth?

The fastest growth in social networking continues to happen in less-developed markets:

  • India had the highest growth this year, increasing user numbers by 37%
  • Indonesia social media user numbers rose nearly 29%
  • Mexico’s grew 21%

Highest penetration of social network users is found in the Netherlands, where 63.5% of the population uses social networks, and this number is followed closely by Norway with 63.3%.

Growth rates for Facebook use were also examined by eMarketer, with developing countries again ranking at the top of the list.  Facebook will reach over 1 billion monthly users worldwide this year, with the 147 million users in the U.S. leaving India’s Facebook population a distant second.  However, the number of Facebook users is growing fastest in Russia and India; eMarketer estimates that India will have the largest Facebook population of any country by 2016.

Do any of these stats surprise you?  How long can the rapid growth of social networking continue in developing countries?