8.7% of Facebook users aren't real people, jury's out on the other 91.3%

By on August 2, 2012, 6:30 PM

In its first public earnings report last week, Facebook revealed that its active userbase increased 29% on-year to 955 million people, with about 552 million using the service daily, up 32%. However, according to information released in its 10-Q filing this week, approximately 8.7% of active Facebook accounts (83.09 million) don't represent real people.

That figure has sharply increased from March's pre-IPO estimate of 5 to 6% accounts, though CNET says this is likely the result of Facebook adjusting the way it calculates bogus profiles. The site also adds that someone can qualify as an "active" Facebook user if they use the service to login on other sites, but don't necessarily visit the social network.

The document shows that 4.8% of Facebook's monthly active users (MAUs) are duplicates or an extra account someone created in addition to their main profile, whether by mistake, to cheat in social games or for various other reasons. This violates the site's terms of service and Facebook says it's constantly trying to detect and suppress such behavior.

Another 2.4% of the MAUs are said to be "misclassified," meaning someone created a personal profile for a non-human such as a pet or business. These types of entities are permitted on Facebook, but only as "Pages," which differ from standard profiles. The remaining 1.5% of MAUs are deemed "undesirable" for nefarious activities such as spamming.

This news follows days after a small startup publicly withdrew from Facebook, claiming that 80% of the site's ad clicks were from bots. The social network's $38 share price has seen a steady decline since its public debut in May. Shares fell below $20 for the first time Thursday, though the market closed at $20.04, down 4.02% from Wednesday.




User Comments: 13

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gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I got one for my friends in school and one for my friends back home, and never the twain shall meet.

FB changes stuff around too much with groups and privacy settings, etc. This way is much safer.

Guest said:

I deleted my facebook account last year... I'd rather socialize with people face to face. If need to contact someone that's what a phone is for.

jeffz6 said:

I too have removed my account. I wonder if they still keep your account in the background, for statistics such as these.

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

I deleted my facebook account last year... I'd rather socialize with people face to face. If need to contact someone that's what a phone is for.

But stalking is more difficult with a phone

Guest said:

My dog has a facebook.

Guest said:

"You are now in a relationship with XX". Oh man, that made me laugh. The first 4 years didn't count but now we're together on FB, it's real. So I don't use it cos it's too up its own arrs. But I keep the account, just like 500 million others it seems.

Guest said:

My Facebook has 0 friends. Does that mean I'm a hardcore Facebook user as well? :p

Guest said:

My Facebook has 0 friends. Does that mean I'm a hardcore Facebook user as well? :p

Nope it means you are a loser on the internet and in real life obviously. =p

Tygerstrike said:

So who cares about FB. There will be a new social website soon enough and FB will end up the way of MySpace.

NightAngel79 said:

Whats Facebook? lol

I use Google Plus

3DCGMODELER 3DCGMODELER said:

My Hamster has a facebook account..

RajeGera RajeGera said:

Everyone has their own purpose of social networking.Facebook account is one of the essentials for the start ups to gain the networks.

Guest said:

call me an optimist but hopefully fb is behind this.

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