The outlined claims for LinkedIn’s population caught my eye, because it’s such a massive overestimate. The truth is much smaller than 100 million. In fact, LinkedIn is only as big as Bristol, England (551,000).
Thank you for continuing. The infographic came from 12 Awesome LinkedIn Infographics in 2011 (HubSpot), from OnlineMBA.
Now, about those claims:
- What is the population of New York State? How many people are there, right this minute? About 19 million
- What are the populations of The Phillipines and Vietnam? How many people are there, right this minute? About 90 million.
- What is the population of LinkedIn? The infographic claims 100 million. But what’s the real number? How many people are there now, right this minute? About half a million.
To count LinkedIn’s (or Facebook’s) population on the same basis as a real country, you pick a census time - one time, on one day of the year - and count who is there, actively using the site. The total subscriber count is about 100 million and the average user is on LinkedIn for 7.3 minutes per day (about 0.5% of the time). Multiply them together and that makes the average population half a million. Similar to Bristol.
Social marketers often complain about how real-world business executives undervalue social. I hope this example illustrates that they have good reason to think some marketers exaggerate. Please speak up, next time you see extreme claims that some social network has a bigger population than a real country.
[Note for pedants: precise figures for Bristol’s population vary, depending on how you measure the City and its surrounding commuter belt. I don’t want to get into an argument about whether it’s 450,000 or 551,000 or 1.1 million. My point is, LinkedIn is like a small English city, not a major country.]