Some suggestive Nordic Facebook stats

Facebook is a “gefundenes fressen” for a researcher as the site provides a lot of statistics to play with, if you know where to look (though I do not know how realiable it is). Thus, following up on my previous post, I here present what the profile ratio (according to Facebook) are for the Nordic countries as of just after midnight October 12th:

Sweden: 485.959 profiles (41% female, 39% male, 20 ND)
Norway: 383.574 profiles (43% female, 43 male, 14% ND)
Finland: 96.758 profiles (44% female, 31% male, 22%ND)
Denmark: 68.156 profiles (37% female, 35% male, 28% ND) 

Numbers do definitely indicate that Denmark seem to be the last Nordic country to move into Facebook.  Meanwhile, the Nordic countries are similar in one regard (not surprising, I suspect):  it appears that an almost equal number of men and women use the site (note that in Finland 13% more women than men seem to have created a profile)

However, if we relate the number of profiles to the population, we can see that the statistics look a bit different:
8,1% of the Norwegian population has a profile on Facebook 
[population: 4.719.366]
5,3% of the Swedish population has a profile on Facebook
[population: 9.150.508]
1,8 % of the Finnish population has a profile on Facebook
[population: 5.291.756]
1,2 % of the Danish population has a profile on Facebook
[population: 5.457.415]

Finally, Denmark may be last, but in the long run not least (??):  the growth rate of Danes creating a profile seem to be exploding at the moment. When I looked at FB around midnight, in about 5 minutes 6 more Danes showed up in the Denmark network stats. If that is indicative and we say around 1 Dane per minute signs up to Facebook these days, 1440 Danes currently sign up per day (24-hours) – equivalent to around 0.02% of the population. If this growth rate continues, almost 1% more (0.8% in fact) of the Danes might enter Facebook within the next month! 

NB! In all cases, it’s profiles, not active presences. The number of people actively using the site over a substantial period of time are likely to be somewhat (much?) smaller – at least, I believe there is some truth to the Second Life numbers unreliability debate, a phenomena (of potential boosted and difficult-to-relate-to numbers) that Facebook might be mimicking, along with all other social network sites that just display number of profiles.

Why Denmark is at the bottom of the hierarchy? I havent done research into that and right now do not know much about the research disciplines that might help me answer the question. One guess would be that uptake depends on a combination of media attention (“press” that make people go and try out the thing) and the current interests of “first movers” within the country/culture, followed by a tipping point at which a substantial critical mass is reached that just keeps the ball rolling. When the happy combination emerge might be quite random from a historical perspective. But it might also be a question of cultural differences and traditions in the Nordic countries. I need to read up on all this. Fascinating, though!

Bonusinfo I
If you wonder, population statistics are drawn from the official pages of the respective countries’ offices of statistics and numbers are all from around August or later this year.
Statistics Norway
Statistics Sweden
Statistics Finland
Statistics Denmark

Bonusinfo II
The IT University network now has 489 members. I believe it was less than 100 before the summer holidays…

Disclaimer (journalists please read this): if you choose to quote numbers from this post, please cite the source and remember that what I present here is not necessarily scientifically reliable, nor generally true. It is just indicative numbers that I have played around with.

2 Comments

Ken LeyOctober 16th, 2007 at 5:32 pm

Really interesting material. The interesting part about Facebook (like it is for LinkedIn) is:

– “How many ppl have actually used Facebook to get their present job?”
– “How many have used Facebook to track down material for a school assignment?”
– “How many have used Facebook to find the right sources for a job task?”
– “How many have found their soulmate, girlfriend/boyfriend in Facebook?”

And so on and so forth. I’m trying to study the virtual world of Second Life myself, and it’s perfectly clear to me, at the fact that around 10 million avatars have now been created in the digital LindenLab-room is totally useless and irrelevant to me. Unlike the fact that more than 50000 are actually online at the same time through peek hours (around noon San Francisco-time).

We need to know, what the users actually DO, when they’re on 🙂

Buuuut if I know you well enough, Lis, you’re already thinking about that too.

AnneOctober 21st, 2007 at 10:26 am

Ken Ley, I find all your questions surprising…

In my experience, Facebook is not a place where people find anything or get to know anyone but solely a tool for organising existing connections and keeping in touch. Even more than Linked In… because LinkedIn allows you to browse your connections’ connections.

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