Facebook and Google enter first stage in, The War of the Numbers

The war over “number of users” is heating up for Google and Facebook. In the past, Facebook was able to dominate headlines by going real big, billions of this or that. The latest data:

  • 845 million monthly active users at the end of December 2011.
  • Approximately 80% of our monthly active users are outside the U.S. and Canada.
  • We had 483 million daily active users on average in December 2011.

Don’t you love all of the caveats in that!

80% of the 845 million are not in the U.S., and half of them could be once-a-month visitors.

Don’t worry, Google is firing back with their own incredibleness. In the last few months, it was leaked that Google+ reached “100 million active users”, with CEO, Larry Page, confirming it on April 5, 2012.

Then, barely a week later, Larry Page comes back with a near doubling of that number:

Google CEO Larry Page delivered some updates on Google+ during Thursday’s conference call, saying that over 170 million Google users have now upgraded to Google+, which presumably means that they have activated their Google+ profile.

via Janko Roettgers

Funny, how those numbers keep shooting up and the language gets fuzzy. At least Facebook says daily or monthly, Google is saying neither.

Of course, Google is famously vague on everything competitive, knowing that the key to building an advantage is to prevent others from knowing about it.

You can bet that this is just the beginning of the War of the Numbers. With so much at stake (billions in stock, employee headhunting, advertising dollars, hearts and minds) you can bet on this continuing to escalate.

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