Facebook has 900 million followers.
That is a ridiculous figure.
My first thought upon reading that factoid was that outside of organized religion, I cannot think of another thing human beings do voluntarily that has attracted that many followers.
And I was basically correct.
With a little help from Google, I tried to discover some other event, pastime or activity that might attract people on a scale that would approach Facebook.
I essentially failed.
As I thought, when it comes to flat-out numbers of people, only Christianity, with 2 billion, Islam, at 1.6 billion, and Hinduism, 950 million, have more followers worldwide than Facebook, and Mark Zuckerberg’s organization is quickly catching up on the Hindus.
According to Bizofbaseball.com, about 73 million people attended a major league game last year, many of them updating their Facebook status while in the stands. Football attendance isn’t even close, with about 67 million going to games in 2010, stated Business Insider. Of course, when TV viewership is included, these numbers rise dramatically, but even at 113 million viewers, as stated by Neilsen, the 2012 Super Bowl had as many followers as Facebook did after about two years of operation.
Looking at some other areas that might give Facebook a run for its money: In-Stat expects 200 million Americans to own a smartphone by 2015. Again, most of those phones will be purchased so people can update their status at sporting events, let their friends know they went to Subway for lunch, or announce that they are sitting on their couch doing nothing.
- About 18.5 million bicycles are sold in the U.S. each year.
- Forty-three million newspapers are circulated in the United States each day.
- As of 2010, 400 million Harry Potter books have been sold worldwide.
The only two non-religious activities to surpass Facebook was movie attendance. In 2011, 1.28 billion movie tickets were sold in North America and Apple has sold more than 10 billion songs on iTunes.
Now, if you really want to blow your mind, various websites estimated that last year that each Facebooker spent between eight and 15 hours on Facebook per month.