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Younger Americans Still Fueling Facebook

Gen Y males accounted for greatest additional audience

January 12, 2010

As Facebook reached 350 million users worldwide, its largest single source of growth was still the US.

Inside Facebook reported that the US gain of more than 4.5 million monthly active Facebook users was the highest number of any country. Because of the large installed base of US Facebook users, it represented a 5% gain, compared with 10% growth in countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia.

Top 10 Countries, Ranked by Gain in Facebook Users, December 2009 & January 2010

For its size, India added relatively few new users in December 2009. Its high 9% growth rate was from a very small base, and Facebook still reaches only 0.5% of the population of the country.

The substantial increase in US users put Facebook’s domestic monthly active user audience over the 100 million mark. And at the same time as the most overall growth came from the home market, the biggest increases in the US came among younger adults, Facebook’s core audience.

The largest gain came from males ages 18 to 25, followed by women 26 to 34. Despite the already-large base of users under 35, those groups also posted the highest rates of growth. Increases in usage among older users, which was relatively stronger earlier in 2009, had slowed.

US Facebook Audience Growth in the Past 30 Days, by Age and Gender, December 2010

The rise of Facebook among older users led to worries that the younger demographic would be turned off by a social site that now included profiles of their parents. But Facebook has remained popular among young adults and especially college students.

According to Inside Facebook, four in 10 active US Facebook users are under 25 as of January 2010, and another 23% are between 26 and 34.

Keep up on the latest digital trends. Learn more about an eMarketer Total Access subscription, today.

Check out today’s other article, “Child Mobile Ownership Up.”

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