Facebook says 8.7% of users are fake

screenshot of https://www.facebook.com/

Last week Facebook announced during the first quarterly earnings report as a public company that there are 955 million monthly active users, as well as 543 million monthly active mobile users. Facebook estimates that right now there are approximately 83.09 million fake accounts, representing 8.7%. This would have to be a significant increase in comparison to the company’s last estimate as in March, 2012, they said that there were 5-6% false or duplicate accounts, which at that time represented between 42.25 million and 50.70 million users.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that during these last five months there has been a huge increase of fake accounts, because the differences in numbers have to do with Facebook being now more transparent regarding the tracked false accounts. Up until now they were only listing false and duplicate users, while now FB has decided to broke down this numbers even further, with 4.8% duplicate accounts, 2.4% user-misclassified accounts and 1.5% undesirable accounts.

Facebook has mentioned in a press release that the monthly active users (MAUs) are calculated by using the firm’s internal data based on the user account’s activity. They added that although the numbers are based on reasonable estimates regarding the user base for a specific period of time, Facebook recognizes that there are some challenges concerning measuring usage across wide online and mobile populations from all over the world.

Facebook has described a “duplicate account” as being an account that a user maintains in addition to his/her primary account. These duplicate accounts represent as of June 30, 2012, about 4.8% of Facebook’s worldwide MAUs. As for “user-misclassified accounts”, these are the users that made personal profiles for a business, an organization or a non-human entity like pets. “Undesirable accounts” are described by Facebook as being user profiles that were created to violate FB’s terms of service, like spamming. Facebook believes that as of June 30, 2012, there were 2.4% user-misclassified accounts, along with 1.5% undesirable accounts of the website’s worldwide MAUs.

It is important to mention that an active Facebook user does not only refer to those who are active within the Facebook.com domain but ones involved in any Facebook activities occurring outside such as “liking” a blog page they visit.

In related news, it seems that Facebook captures one in every 11 Internet visits, as of January, 2012, while one in every five page views is of Facebook.com.

Author: Adrian Padeanu