Millions of new iPhones and Androids got activated during and after Christmas this year — and what have people done with their new devices? They’ve downloaded Facebook’s mobile apps, of course.
I’ve been watching this trend for a few years, and the past week has been the biggest yet, based on the numbers visible in the AppData app tracking service. Facebook’s iPhone app grew by 4.1 million monthly active users and 1.7 million daily actives, which was beat out by its Android app, which gained 5.2 million MAU and 2.2 million DAU. Previous years have shown gains in the hundreds of thousands or lower millions.
The difference between the two platforms’ download numbers follows the ongoing trend of Facebook’s Android usage outgrowing iOS, even as both operating systems have surged in recent years.
Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 weeks, half of the schools in the Boston area began demanding a Facebook network. Zuckerberg immediately recruited his friends Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin to help build Facebook, and within four months, Facebook added 30 more college networks. The original...