As Twitter and several similar microblogging services are on the rise, Facebook too is seeing a major increase in local Korean membership.
While Facebook’s penetration of online users of Korea is amongst the world’s lowest at 5.27% with approximately 620,000 users, the user base is growing at a rapid 23%, which is ranked 5th in the world.
While user base demographic data for western countries such as the USA and Great Britain are similar in nature (see below), it is obvious that Korean user demographic is substantially different; for both USA and GB, approximately half the user base was formed by those in age group 18 to 34 (59% and 63% respectively) – the same age group in Korea, however, was responsible for about three quarters of the user base (83%). Another example of Korean demographic skew is observed in older age groups; in USA and GB, users of age 45 and above were responsible for 32% and 26% of user base respectively while the same group in Korea only composed 16% of total user base.
This brings to one conclusion of Facebook user base in Korea. This raises another question: is this just the case for Korea, or is this generally the case for Asian countries?
Another comparison between user base of Korea, China and Japan answers this question clearly. Facebook users in age group of 18-34 were responsible for 87% and 76% of total user base in China and Japan respectively, which is similar to Korea’s 83%. As for users of older age group (45 and above), China and Japan showed 15% and 19% respectively, compared to Korea’s 16%.
While this comparison of Facebook user demographic is rudimentary to draw any deep conclusions, the pattern is clear; countries where English is used predominantly show more even distribution of user demographic than those where another language besides English is used predominantly. Other English-speaking countries such as Canada and Australia show the similar demographic pattern as that shown by USA and GB. Non-English speaking Asian nations such as Taiwan, Philippines, and Thailand show the similar demographic pattern as that shown by Korea, China and Japan.
So what does all this mean to Facebook?
Facebook will reach, if it hasn’t already, a saturation point in English-speaking countries; if continuing user base growth were Facebook’s main objective, the company must focus on other countries (e.g. Asian countries) with localized marketing strategies to cater to user base with the different demographic pattern shown in English-speaking nations.