It’s a fair guess that many of you reading this have also spent too much time reading your News Feed. If not too much time, how about forty minutes? Forty minutes isn’t an arbitrary number but rather the amount of time that the 128 million average daily users in the States spend checking their feed. When you add the fact that your average American spends over five hours watching television each day and presumably also works and sleeps, we’re checking our News Feed at work, on the toilet, in our cars, at lunch etc.
Facebook’s strong earnings and use
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) blew away the consensus estimates of analysts yesterday after it posted revenues of $2.91 billion for the second quarter. Gone are the days when you worried about Mark Zuckerberg’s affectation hoodie as though he were the new Steve Jobs and required an iconic piece of clothing equal to the latter’s black turtleneck. Gone are the days when analysts worried about whether Facebook could even be properly monetized.
With 1.32 billion monthly active users worldwide and advertisers lining up to greet them on both desktop and mobile, Facebook has truly arrived. What’s a little strange is what we’ve given up in order to secure the company’s success.
What else we are doing
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Survey (PDF), we now spend more time with our “friends” than we do with Fido and Whiskers by about a minute. I happen to know I spend more time taking care of my cats Bebe and Betty than I do planting virtual crops and chatting with someone I met in a hostel in China ten years past, but the numbers suggest I’m not average. Household and personal email takes up 33 minutes each day on the average while apparently some people (the average person) still get snail mail and spend 17 minutes with it each day.
As Facebook reported 128 million daily users in the States last month, that means that 40% of the country is on Facebook each day. Compare that to 39% who don’t make a single consumer purchase each day, 35% who travel to work, and 34% who clean the house a bit. Not surprisingly, Facebook blows the doors off the 14% of Americans who participate in organizational, civic, or religious activities.