The Social Media Explosion: By the Numbers
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By Alfonso Serrano,
The Fiscal Times
September 12, 2011

Privately held social media giants Facebook and Twitter rarely detail their astonishing growth, but new numbers out last week offer a window into these sites’ booming businesses. In an informal briefing with reporters Thursday, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said that after another round of financing, the company has a “truckload of money in the bank” and is in no rush to go public. Twitter also disclosed that it had passed the 100 million member milestone. That news came a day after Reuters reported that Facebook’s revenue had doubled in the first half of the year. Here, a guide to the growth at the two leading social media sites:

750 million
Number of Facebook users worldwide

100 million
Number of Twitter users worldwide

230 million
Number of tweets sent per day

40 percent
Twitter users who don’t actively tweet, but sign in to read others’ posts

80 percent
Increase in Tweets since the beginning of 2011

82 percent
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives who have Twitter accounts

$800 billion
New funding secured by Twitter recently, including $400 million used to let existing shareholders and employees cash out some of their holdings

$8 billion
Estimated valuation of Twitter based on that recent funding

$80 billion
Estimated valuation of Facebook

11.8 million
Number of new Facebook users worldwide in May, down from 13.9 million new users in April, according to the research group Inside Facebook

6 million
U.S. users lost by Facebook in May, in a possible sign of “Facebook fatigue.” The compnay says growth in emerging markets helps offset the U.S. losses.

1 billion
Number of estimated Facebook users worldwide by 2012, according to a study by the tracking site Social Bakers

$1.6 billion
Facebook’s revenue during first half of 2011, according to Reuters, up from $1.2 for the first nine months of 2010

Nearly 30 million
Estimated number of Google+ users worldwide

10 million
Number of users Google+ attracted in the first two weeks after its launch in June

2.8 million
Estimated number of Google+ users in India, the country with the second highest number of users after the U.S.

85 percent
Internet users who visited a Google site in June 2011, comScore Media Metrix

16
Online games, including Angry Birds and Bejeweled Blitz, being offered by Google to users of its social media service as of last month in an attempt to better compete with Facebook