Facebook now has 1.65 billion users spending an average of 50 minutes a day on its platforms (FB, Messenger, Instagram, Whatsapp, etc). The amount of time spent in devotion of our online selves now rivals the amount of time humanity spends in worship of the major religions. Can the Catholic Church claim a billion and a half people doing anything for almost an hour a day in service to it? Can Islam? Buddhism may come close, or Hinduism, but probably not really, should you calculate the actual minutes of the day and the actual amount of worshippers.
But we love ourselves and sharing facets of ourselves with the world. Projecting the Us that’s fit for the consumption of others. Or some better, smarter, richer, sexier version of ourselves. It’s just a snapshot or a line of text, we have all the control in the world when we reveal in small doses.
Facebook’s market cap is $330 billion as a result of its explosive open to new highs this morning. It’s trading at more than 13x sales and is now one of the most valuable companies in the history of planet earth. You can say it shouldn’t be for reasons A, B, and C – and these would be rational opinions. But has any company before ever monopolized this much of humanity’s time and attention, en masse, around the world? Will any subsequent company be able to do so any time soon?
The Super Bowl is the most widely watched event in the world, and it’s because roughly 100 million people watch it. Facebook wouldn’t get out of bed for that kind of nightly audience. And think of the dollar amounts that the Super Bowl commands for thirty-second ads. Facebook’s usage is more than 10X the Super Bowl and it’s 24 / 7 / 365.
And here’s the best part – no one expects to be paid anything to create content for the platform. We’re the football players. We’re the announcers. We’re the cheerleaders. We do it for free, out of the sheer joy we experience from the exposition of ourselves. And we never get bored of it.