This article was published on September 9, 2011

How do Facebook’s basic stats stack up against Twitter?

How do Facebook’s basic stats stack up against Twitter?
Sherilynn Macale
Story by

Sherilynn Macale

Sherilynn "Cheri" Macale is based in San Francisco, CA. You'll probably find her tucked away in her apartment blogging, playing video games, Sherilynn "Cheri" Macale is based in San Francisco, CA. You'll probably find her tucked away in her apartment blogging, playing video games, or immersing herself in geek culture. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Google+

After Twitter CEO Dick Costolo spoke to us during an informal meeting with the press yesterday, we grew curious. How do the newly revealed Twitter stats stack up against Facebook?

Sure, Twitter isn’t anything like Facebook. Costolo himself said that while other platforms are continuously adding feature after feature, Twitter is one that hopes to simplify itself. The fact, however, remains that these are two giants competing for attention in the social space.

There are only so many interested users to go around, let alone users actually intrigued by bleeding-edge social media technology. For many of them, deciding on what platform to use isn’t so much about what really works for them, but what platform their actual friends and family are on (which appears to be the driving factor behind why many people join Facebook or Twitter in the first place). In that respect, pitting Twitter against Facebook seems unrealistic. With only a two-year head start on Twitter, however, how does Facebook stack up?

Take a peek at what we found:

We know. Pretty impressive stuff.

From this graphic alone, Facebook is clearly still ahead of the game in terms of daily active users, monthly active users, and by default, number of total registered users (which they have elected to leave out in their official statistics — no amount of digging has turned up this number for us). Twitter’s statistics are obviously still very impressive, but when compared to the super giant that is Facebook, it seems to leave an underwhelming taste in the mouth.

In terms of growth, Twitter still has to play a bit of catching up if it wants to reach anywhere near its competition. Fortunately, the stats revealed during Twitter’s announcement yesterday are a huge jump from where the social news site was just a few months ago, and things only seem to be looking up. Or at least, that’s what we’ve been told.

One statistic to keep an eye on:

There are more than 250 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices. In Costolo’s announcement yesterday, he stressed that Twitter’s goal is to absolutely be on 2 billion devices — that’s quite a stretch from Facebook’s 250 million! But can they do it? With 55% of Twitter’s active users already on mobile, and the rate growing at an increase of 40% quarter over quarter, their goal doesn’t seem too unrealistic.

Of course, there’s still that pesky problem of actually being able to acquire a user base large enough to actually reach 2 billion devices. Though as the saying goes, “Reach for the moon; Even if you fail, you’ll still land among the stars.” With Twitter’s objective set so high, there’s no doubt it will at least see some form of measurable success. So the real questions are, how long will it take for Twitter to see the success it aims for, and what ambitious goals does Facebook have up its sleeves?

While we’re curious to see how this all plays out, we’d also like to hear your thoughts: Will there ever come a time where Twitter and Facebook growth levels out? Or will one always prevail over the other? Leave us a comment below.

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