In the process of rebuilding J’s Notes I’m digging through the past and figuring out what brilliant thoughts remain brilliant and what thoughts are best left in the past.
One post that made the cut is a February, 2009 bit that gave a breakdown of Facebook users in Richmond. While it wasn’t so long ago, it wasn’t until April of that year that Facebook would break 200 million active users. By September, 2011 that number would quadruple to over 800 million active users.
So three years later, how does Richmond measure up?
Using the Facebook Ads Creator you can get an interesting snapshot about Facebook users in your area. It’s not an exact science and comparing numbers from today to three years ago is a bit misleading due to the growth of Facebook leading to an increase in the number of cities in Facebook’s database (for example: in Feb 2009 you couldn’t say you were from Fredericksburg, VA – you had to choose either Richmond or Washington, maybe a NOVA locality) and other factors at play. But it’s still a fun exercise with numbers.
|Total Facebook Users In Virginia:||1,794,480||3,899,660|
|Facebook Users In Richmond:||193,240||350,900|
|In High School –||18,780||8,300|
|In College –||31,960||19,940|
|College Grad –||22,800||134,520|
|In A Relationship –||33,500||45,060|
For Colleges, the numbers in the brackets are all Facebook users in the US who are listed as currently attending.
So what can we see here? Well, for starters, Richmond Facebook users are absolutely following the overall trend of having gotten older over the years. Facebook’s growth with the over 35 users certainly can’t be overstated and was clearly visible nationally mere months after I ran the February, 2009 numbers.
Gender numbers appear to be the combination of growth and a change in what information Facebook requires of users.
The shrinking college numbers could just be a shift in how Facebook is used. In 2/09 Facebook was still primarily a college playground and identifying yourself with your school at the time you were there was an integral part of the experience. As it has grown and become more public, keeping tabs on exactly when you are enrolled in what school is less important. Simply list the college in your profile, leave the graduation date for later.
Relationship status appears to just be natural growth: as the audience is larger and older, more relationships and marriages.
If you wanted you could keep breaking these numbers down and find out exactly how many people with particular interests were in the area. Anyone who’s tried to do targeted advertising on Facebook has already played with this. But anyone wanting to just see some numbers because they’re a total nerd like myself might have some fun with this as well.