2.5m

The number of active Facebook advertisers. Facebook is succeeding in getting small and local businesses to advertise, and this number is growing at nearly 100,000 a month. By providing a simple DIY interface, and good targeting options like demographics, interests and location, Facebook has done well to provide an alternative to Google. Google is still much larger though, at over 4m active advertisers.

40%

Nearly half of comments on Instagram mention another user, a workaround that people use to draw their friends’ attention to pictures that they like. Now Instagram has used this insight to beef up its messaging platform, meaning that you can send pics to friends directly. It’s a great example of insight from data being used in service design.

400m

Staying with Instagram, it passed this landmark number of monthly active users, doubling its user base since March 2014. Instagram had fewer than 40m active users when Facebook bought it in April 2014, and has since successfully added advertising to the feed, seemingly without alienating users. 

900m

WhatsApps’s rise continues, edging ever close to the magic billion mark, and representing a growth of, on average 660,000 new users a day. This is exactly twice the number WhatsApp had in February 2014 when Facebook bought it, and it was the fastest ever service to reach 400m users.

80%

The amount of their app time American smartphone users spend with their 3 favourite apps, according to research from comScore. This number is scary because it shows how hard it must be for a new app to gain attention and traction, and also because for 80% these users Facebook is in the top 3.

54%

The proportion of Buzzfeed’s traffic (inc video views) coming from either Facebook (33%) or Snapchat (21%). While it’s amazing that Facebook represents a third, it’s more surprising that Snapchat, including the Discover section is so important, given that many don’t see it as a referrer or content site. Interestingly Google search is only 2%, showing that Buzzfeed is definitely a social-first site.

70

The number of companies who pay the ad blocking technology company AdBlock Pro to deem their ad formats ‘acceptable. Ad blocking was in the news in September as ad blocker extensions were built in to Apple’s Safari iOS9 mobile browser update. Ad blocking is quite a murky area, as some publishers and technology companies can pay the blocking companies, and the new mobile ad blockers also see this as a revenue model, presumably without really caring what their users think.

12

More people have died this year from selfie-related accidents than from shark attacks (‘only’ 8), showing perhaps how irrationally scared we are of sharks but also an illustation of how many people use phones in lots of different situations.