Facebook Used by the Most People within Iceland, Norway, Canada, Other Cold Places

Monthly and percentage facebookAmong the 12 countries in the world with the highest penetration of Facebook users, a surprising number are in cold parts of the world. Iceland is in first place, with 49.5 percent of its 300,000-some population on the site in August, or nearly 159,000 people, according to Facebook’s advertiser data.

It is followed by Norway, Canada and Denmark, and the slightly-warmer United Kingdom in sixth place — the UK’s penetration is notable because it has a population of 61 million people, far more than any of the other countries on the list.

Starting with Hong Kong in number four, though, the correlation with cold weather breaks down. The cold doesn’t seem to necessarily drive people indoors and on to Facebook. So… islands? Proximity to oceans? Large governments? Other ideas?

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15 Responses to “Facebook Used by the Most People within Iceland, Norway, Canada, Other Cold Places”

  1. Dan Fox says:

    Educated people?

  2. We’re about to hit 24-hour darkness? Best to log into Facebook then says:

    [...] Inside Facebook looks at the list of countries with the highest % penetration by population and makes an observation. Countries with cold, dark winters top the list – Iceland (49.5%), Norway (45.4%) and Canada (38.7%). [...]

  3. Content Writer Micky says:

    I think it’s a combination of a number of things, including:

    1. the percentage of people with internet access/broadband penetration rate (very high in many of the countries at the top of the list); and

    2. whether or not those particular countries have a successful local social networking site that competes with Facebook (e.g. the Netherlands has hyves.nl which is much more popular than Facebook).

    Just my two cents’ worth.

  4. Fredrik Matheson says:

    “Cold places love Facebook” is a fun idea but not a very plausible theorem.

    As Micky points out, high internet penetration and and no dominant local player could be the reason, but Norway (where I hail from) has lots of popular local networks, too.

    As for the cold-and-dark theorem, Sweden and Finland have near-complete internet penetration levels. Plus great education levels. And great local social software providers.

    If you want to hang onto the theorem you could revise it to include countries that have somewhat unpleasant weather. Hong Kong and Singapore are hot and humid during large parts of the year, so it could be that those 12 countries simply have a greater proportion of people who like to sit inside their homes.

    Last but not least, what does “monthly active users” mean? How many times/how many hours must you use Facebook in a month to be considered active? Does browsing your newsfeed suffice or must you throw sheep, organize events and upload photos to qualify?

    Here’s a great quote by Larry Halff of Ma.gnolia on how you can interpret quantitative data at social sites:

    “[…] I think its impossible to draw any conclusions about what’s happening beyond the fact that your system resources are being used […]”

    Source: http://bit.ly/3a9ODR

    Now, Facebook is a richer app with more facets than Ma.gnolia, but truly, I don’t think we posit anything of use from these twelve countries.

  5. YuccaTree Post + » Island, Norwegen, Kanada: Besonders viele Facebook-Nutzer in kalten Ländern says:

    [...] aus dem Monat August heraus. Allerdings: Ab Platz 5 dreht sich die Statistik komplett. Island ist laut der Statistik die Nummer 1: 158.560 Isländer und damit fast jeder zweite Bewohner (49,5 Prozent) des [...]

  6. Eric Eldon says:

    Indeed, Fredrik and Micky — correlation does not equal causation :)

    Interesting ideas, in any case. Fredrik, I particularly like the line about “your system resources are being used.”

  7. Cristian says:

    I´m writing to you from Chile.

    Here every one is on facebook. It´s a combination of a lot of things but the one´s i have notice are:

    - The tecnology is getting more cheap every day here.
    - A lot of people use to be on http://www.fotolog.com (so they learn about social sites)
    - A Few years ago they made Facebook have a traslation to Spanish.

    This things i notice that influenced a lot in the way in my country we use Facebook now.

  8. Klima 2.0: Je kälter ein Land… | Community Management Blog says:

    [...] 2.0: Je kälter ein Land, desto beliebter Facebook – http://www.insidefacebook.com/2009/09/25/facebook-used-by-the-most-people-within-iceland-norway-cana… Social [...]

  9. jardenberg kommenterar – 2009-09-29 — jardenberg unedited says:

    [...] Facebook Used by the Most People within Iceland, Norway, Canada, Other Cold Places [...]

  10. Where half the population use Facebook | BetaTales says:

    [...] corresponds with data published elsewhere putting Norway on  the global top of Facebook penetration together with other cold countries like Canada and [...]

  11. Den sociale marketing plan – Signal Digital A/S says:

    [...] UPDATE! Den danske Facebook penetration er faldet fra en 1. til en 4. plads, men er altså stadig blandt de 5 største i verden! [...]

  12. Public Libraries and Facebook: An Introduction « Canadian Public Libraries and Facebook says:

    [...] day”. Additional statistics reported by Inside Facebook reflect that country by country, Canada holds the third highest rates of Facebook use. For Canadian public libraries who seek a prolific online presence, Facebook seems like a logical [...]

  13. Terry Fox Public Library, Fraser Valley Regional Library « Canadian Public Libraries and Facebook says:

    [...] day”. Additional statistics reported by Inside Facebook reflect that country by country, Canada holds the third highest rates of Facebook use. For Canadian public libraries who seek a prolific and ubiquitous online presence, Facebook seems [...]

  14. » Facebook gives false information on number of users says:

    [...] Only Iceland has a higher Facebook usage per capita. [...]

  15. Nikki May | Copywriting Services says:

    Interesting statistics!

    Maybe it’s due to advanced broadband and internet access.

    High education levels may also be a factor.

    Long time frames spent indoors, due to the cold climate, is a valid factor.

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