The Facebook Stats Game: Brazil Has The Highest Active Reach; Bangkok Tops The List Of Cities

Facebook says that it generated half of its revenues outside of the U.S. and Canada in the first quarter of 2012, and some numbers out today underscore just how extensive its reach is in different markets, with active usage in some countries outstripping that of Facebook in its home market.

According to figures from Nielsen — some of the latest numbers to come out in the battery of data that is being fired out in the final day before Facebook goes public — Brazil has the highest active reach of Internet consumers using the social network from home/work computers. Some 38.1 million Brazilians visited Facebook during March 2012, equivalent to 76.7 percent of all people who were active online that month from home and work computers in the market.

When you take into account people accessing Facebook from other sources like tablets and mobiles, Nielsen says New Zealand has the highest active reach, with nearly 80 percent of all consumers accessing Facebook in one format or another.

However, when you look at actual numbers, the U.S. is still running away with the most users: Nielsen reports the figure in the U.S. 152.8 million users — which it bases on usage from computers as well as mobile devices. The active reach in that market is 69.6 percent, it says.

Nielsen notes that Facebook’s active reach in Japan is only 24 percent, with “blog sites” proving more popular in the country. Today Japan’s e-commerce giant Rakuten announced that it was leading on a $100 million investment in Pinterest, which it noted was picking up huge traction in the country: Rakuten wants to ride that wave with e-commerce integration. Facebook’s low-ish reach in that country underscores the opportunity for another social network to come in and make a mark.

But while it can be useful to see what percentage of active Internet users are accessing Facebook, Nielsen’s numbers, rather confusingly, do not tally exactly with those released by Facebook itself. Facebook in its latest S-1 does not break out many individual countries but it does point to numbers for a few: it says that it had 45 million monthly active users in Brazil as of March 31, 2012 (Nielsen’s figure: a lower 38 million).

Facebook also points out it had 51 million MAUs in India — a country not included in Nielsen’s numbers. The U.S., Facebook says, had 169 million MAUs (again, Nielsen’s numbers are lower, this time by nearly 17 million).

Confused? Another analysis group, Socialbakers, also breaks out country numbers — and cities, too.

It notes that Bangkok is currently the Metropolis with the most Facebook users: according to its latest figures, Thailand’s capital had 8.7 million active users in the last month.

While Nielsen ranks countries based on the active reach among active Internet users, Socialbakers seems to look at overall penetration, and so the numbers become significantly lower for some of the brightest stars in Nielsen’s rankings: Brazil, for example, has Facebook penetration of 23.4 percent of the population; New Zealand has penetration of 51.4 percent.

The very highest penetration for Facebook in Socialbakers’ rankings is for Monaco, with penetration of 124 percent (more than one account?) but representing only 38,000 users.

Overall, Facebook’s own, most current figure puts its global active monthly users at 901 million.