Facebook Usage in Sri Lanka

FacebookShop in Colombo

The cutest girl at Horizon Lanka, Mahawilachchiya, now a young woman, married a guy whom she befriended through Facebook. Never knew that Facebook is this effective. I did not take Facebook seriously earlier. This is something to explore. At the right time, I received the book “The Facebook Effect” from a friend. I cannot comment about it till I finish reading it.

I too have an FB account. It was dormant till last year as I wasn’t interested in it. But with the loneliness I had without a job for more than a year, I started using my FB account quite often. I too started sharing photos, interesting news, informing my friends about my latest blog posts, finding my old friends, etc. on FB and now I am quite addicted to FB. But I keep my serious stuff limited to emails and Skype. I feel that opening up yourself in FB is like standing naked in a public park.

A friend of mine, Ranjith Gunarathne says that FB is just a gossip tool and not meant for decent people. It is an open space to share the very personal side of someone. So, a friend of Ranjith calls Facebook, ‘the Fartbook.’According to Ranjith the Facebook is ideal for Asian society who are not as direct as the Western world in telling what one feels openly. So, the Facebook is their choice of tool to tell everything one wants without control. It is also suitable for timewasters. He also has found out that the Facebook is a place for gays and lesbians to connect each other’s partners as they don’t have an open forum in Sri Lanka.

What I have understood now is that the Facebook is a good place to run political campaigns, hate and religious campaigns. We also saw instances that the FB users getting together for an annual party in a beach hotel in Colombo to see their online friends in real and have some fun.

The Facebook has become a good place for advertisers too. They promote their products and services to the target groups over Facebook. Once totally unknown Anything.lk became a famous website through Facebook. Today it is #1 in top five brands in Sri Lanka in the Facebook while Odel, Kapruka, Dialog and Mobitel are the next in line respectively.

Some of the newspapers, TV channels, radio stations also have their own Facebook pages. The number of their fans is encouraging.

The downside of the Facebook is that there is a crime trend related to FB of late. It was not a long ago that a schoolteacher  was lured by her FB boyfriend to a hotel in Colombo and ended up having sex with him and letting him take nude pictures of her. Later he started blackmailing her with the photos. But what I feel is that this is not the fault of FB. People should use their common sense. With the advent of any new technology there had been people who misused them but if one has common sense, one can avoid ended up being victims.

Famous people like actors, sportspersons, and artists are also hit by fake Facebook accounts created by unknown people under their names.

Currently, there are 1,214,420 Facebook users in the Sri Lanka, which makes it #74 in the ranking of all Facebook statistics by Country while the USA is number one and China, with the biggest population of the world is not even listed in the ranking as FB is banned in China.

Statistics show that Facebook penetration in Sri Lanka is 5.64% compared to the country’s population and 68.37% in relation to number of Internet users. The total number of FB users in Sri Lanka is reaching 1,214,420 and grew by more than 88,400 in the last 6 months.

Comparing these nearest countries by penetration of Facebook users shows that Sri Lanka has 0.05% higher FB penetration than Moldova and 0.12% lower FB penetration than Samoa.

The largest age group in FB in Sri Lanka is currently 18 – 24 with total of 497,912 users, followed by the users in the age of 25 – 34.

User age distribution on Facebook in Sri Lanka

Age Ratio

There are 67% male users and 33% female users in Sri Lanka, compared to 46% and 54% in Puerto Rico and 69% and 31% in Ghana .

Male/Female User Ratio on Facebook in Sri Lanka

Gender Ration

Statistics source http://www.socialbakers.com/facebook-statistics/sri-lanka

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