The fundamental difference between French & German social habits

Jan 3, 2014
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With all the pressure from the outside world for Facebook to become a more transparent company, investors will be very pleased to look at the latest disclosed information on mobile Facebook usage – and with it valuable information of country-specific behavior.

It was not without a fight that Facebook has been holding back to its data analytics of country specific mobile usage around the world. The Internet giant has been questioned as to its ability to make money out of mobile – a particularly important question provided that mobile will soon surpass desktop usage – and it has for some time restrained to answer the glaring issue altogethern, providing only aggregate information on its mobile stats.

It’s interesting to analyze the data at a country level, for example looking at neighbors and oh so different France & Germany, it’s easy to spot the usage patterns of the social network. Although Germany’s population is more than 20% larger than France’s, both countries represent approximately the same market for Facebook – some 25 million monthly active users – which depicts a more social-shy Germany fueled by its more privacy-concerned citizens. Looking at the engagement level, Germany is slightly ahead of France, meaning that even if only 46% of its internet users are on Facebook every month, they use it more often than in France, which has 63% of its internet users on Facebook but visiting less often.

As far as mobile is concerned, Germany has more users (both monthly and daily) on Facebook, but again they represent a smaller share of the country’s market (phone users in this case) when compared to France. A similar trend is seen on mobile when comparing France and Germany – 72% of mobile monthly active users in Germany revisit the app daily, which contrasts with the lower 65% in France.

So, what does it mean? German citizens tend to be less on Facebook when compared to the more social-sharing French, but the German population that uses the social network tend to use it more often – both on desktop and on mobile – suggesting a higher ad impression rate per user in Germany than in France. Of course, it all depends on which market segment we analyze as this is still very aggregated data. One thing is certain, the French are more sociable than the Germans, but I guess that surprises nobody.