Why Asia is Facebook’s biggest strength and biggest weakness
Rising user numbersFacebook’s latest earnings report shows that user numbers in Asia continue to rise sharply, in stark contrast to the relative saturation in the US and Europe.
Two years ago, there were more daily users of Facebook in Europe, and also the US, than Asia. But, as of the last quarter, Asia is far ahead, while the number of users in “the rest of the world” have also jumped.
The numbers are even more pronounced for users who access the site at least once a month — Asia’s figure is more than double the US, and is on par with the number for the rest of the world.
Less money in Asia
Despite this growth, making money in Asia is an altogether different story.
Revenue from Asia has increased more than three-fold in the past two years, but it is still around half of that from Europe, and a third of that from US.
More users and less revenue means that the revenue generated from a user in Asia is far lower than those in Europe or the US.
Facebook is now making a dollar per user in Asia. That’s a good increase on $0.75 one year ago, but it’s well behind the average revenue per user (ARPU) of $6.44 in the US and $2.84 in Europe.
Twitter suffers from a similar issue. The company doesn’t issue the same detailed charts as Facebook, but its latest earnings reveal that two-thirds of its revenue was generated by users in the US, despite most of its users residing overseas.
The company has focused its advertising efforts on the US market first, and it says that international revenue — Europe, Asia and elsewhere — has grown 168 percent over the past year, but we can expect that Asia accounts for a minority of that non-US income.