Facebook users rise despite scandals and privacy outrage; 4.8 million S’poreans are on Facebook

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Logo of the social networking giant, Facebook. (Photo: Screengrab from YouTube)

Facebook still continues to be the number one social networking site, as the number of users continues to rise despite of the scandals and privacy outrage

More than 1.52 billion people were reported to use Facebook every day as of December 2018. This came up to a 9 percent increase in the number of users per year.

Active users every month were also up 9 percent year over year, with 2.32 billion as of December 31st.

This quarter, Facebook users rise in both Europe and the US, regions where numbers were either flat or went down last quarter. It was particularly strong in Asian countries including India, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Also, Facebook announced that a new high of 2.7 billion people use either Facebook, and its fa”family” of services, including Instagram, WhatsApp, or Messenger each month, with 2 billion of those people using at least one of those four services once a day.

The rise was steady despite Facebook’s involvement in last year’s high-profile privacy and safety issues. One faced by the tech giant was the Cambridge Analytica scandal, a data breach where hackers stole logins for 50 million people and accusations that it has been used as a political tool.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. (Photo: Screengrab from YouTube)

CEO and Founder Mark Zuckerberg said “We’ve put most of our energy into security over the past 18 months, so that building new experiences wasn’t the priority over that period.”

“So this year, I think we’re going to deliver several of these new experiences.”

“The firm had fundamentally changed how we run the company to focus on the biggest social issues,” he added.

A total profit of $22.1bn (£16.9bn) was gained by Facebook for 2018, 39% higher to that of the previous year.

Evidently with the numbers, advertisers continue to be on board with the platform and in result may win investors in believing the stock can regain more value.

In defense of the social network’s business, 34-year old billionaire Zuckerberg argued that targeting ads based on interests was different from selling people’s data.

“If we’re committed to serving everyone, then we need a service that is affordable to everyone,” Zuckerberg wrote in The Wall Street Journal.

One research analyst concluded “The bottom line is that with more than a quarter of the world using FB every day, we think advertisers have no choice but to follow their customers.”

Although the user growth did not specifically mention of Singapore among other Southeast Asian countries, the number could not be taken for granted. Singaporeans are one of the most active social media consumers in the world.

Singaporeans are one of the most active social media consumers in the world. (Photo: Screengrab from YouTube)

In a global mapping of social networks in 2017, Facebook is the top social network in 119 out of 149 countries. As a matter of fact, 22% of the world’s population is on Facebook.

Two in 3 Singaporeans admit that they have a social networking and internet addiction, an AIA survey revealed.

According to the statistics portal Statista, in 2017, 3.55 million Singaporeans accessed the internet through their mobile phone. The number from Facebook Ad Manager gives 4.8 million as the total number of Facebook users in Singapore in 2018.

One in 4 Singaporeans on Facebook browse the platform even while watching television, spending 17 minutes out of a whole TV hour on their Newsfeed.

While Facebook is still the most popular social media channel in Singapore, it seems to be following the global trend of losing its younger users.

Cloudrock Asia, a digital marketing agency, explained that Facebook stops becoming fun for younger users once the parents get on their friends list. Younger Singaporeans are instead found flocking to Instagram.