Facebook digging in Azerbaijan


Pretending to create an advertisement on Facebook allows for insight into who is using Facebook in a particular place. I document how I do this here.

Today I was playing around with the Ad tool to see what Azerbaijanis are on Facebook.

According to Facebook Ads, 52% of Azerbaijanis accessing Facebook own a smartphone, 25% own a featurephone (some advanced features on a mobile device). And 55% of Azerbaijanis on Facebook are using Android and 18% an iPhone or iPad.

Less than 1% of Azerbaijanis on Facebook use a Mac, and 4% use Windows 8.

41% of Azerbaijani Facebook users access the site via Chrome (mobile or computer based). 3% use Firefox.

41% of Azerbaijani Facebook users are college graduates. 4% are parents.

59% have expressed some interest in sports and 55% in music.

Are these incredible insights into Azerbaijani society? No. But I’m open for suggestions in things to look at.


September 2014 – Facebook ad suggestions at Facebook use in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia


This is an update to this post from January and this post from March.

It is hard to know how many people in a country are using Facebook, but through Facebook’s Ad selling program, you can get some rounded information. The numbers they give are not exact, so these percentages displayed below are not accurate for the true number of users. THESE RESULTS MAY NOT ADD UP TO REASONABLE 100%S. I calculated everything from the actual population. So when it says 36% of Georgian women are X, I calculated from the population data from the World Bank. This isn’t SOLID information, but it does come FROM Facebook, so it is a little bit better than SocialBakers.

This is what it looks like to find out this information:

facebook

So, Armenia has 2,974,184 people, Azerbaijan 9,590,159 people, and Georgia 4,555,911 people total according to the World Bank and after I subtracted those age 0-14 (World Bank’s category, not mine) the populations are Armenia: 2,460,436; Azerbaijan: 7,419,487; Georgia: 3,855,233.

Facebook Ads says that this many people in each of those countries is a potential viewer of their ads (thus a Facebook user): Armenia: 580,000 (in January) 620,000 (in March) 680,000 (in September) ; Azerbaijan: 1,320,000 (in January) 1,380,000 (in March) 1,460,000 (in September); Georgia: 1,220,000 (in January) 1,280,000 (in March) 1,380,000 (in September).

Thus, here are the percentages of the age 14+ populations of each country who are on Facebook:

a(January)a2

14plussept

Armenia: 28%
Azerbaijan: 20%
Georgia: 36%

So that is interesting, but let us look at gender differences (I took the direct gender population data from the age distribution tables – this is not 50/50, but more accurate).

b(January)b2

popsept

Armenians and Georgians are evenly distributed gender-wise on Facebook. And Azerbaijanis, well, this gender difference isn’t surprising.

c(January)c2

gendersept

In terms of the balance of users, Armenians are fairly even, Georgians have a bit more women and you can see that about 2/3rds of Azerbaijanis on Facebook are men. Although this may seem shocking, this is much better than it has been in previous years.

d(January) EDIT: THIS SHOULD BE 15-24 YEAR OLDS!

d2

distrosepy

Wow Georgia! Most Georgian young adults are on Facebook, no doubt about that. About half of Armenian young adults and for Azerbaijan 60% of male young adults and a little over a third of female young adults.

For comparison, here’s Caucasus Barometer derived information from 2012 and 2013.


Social Media and Information Wars


The past few days have seen a notable increase in cease-fire violations on the frontline of Nagorno Karabakh, with deaths on both sides (although more Azerbaijani deaths).

I’m currently in Azerbaijan, but I keep an eye on both Azerbaijani and Armenian social media spaces and these are a few thing that have happened on the Internet in the past few days:

1. A simultaneous “hacking war,” where teams from both sides try to take down websites, especially news sites, in the other country. This is far from new. Check out this article on this topic from the year 2000! Samvel Martirosyan does a good job keeping track of these sort of attacks from the Armenian perspective. There has been a major increase in DDoS and other attacks in the last few days, including popular Azerbaijani tabloid Haqqin.az being taken down on Sunday morning, although by noon Baku time, it was back up.

BuFzHCSIAAQc6G1(When the hacking teams take the site over, the usually post a graphic with the attribution of the hacking team that took it down.)

2. Information about what is going on is spread via social media and inevitably, information is not sourced well on either side. Granted, media is so politicized in this region that individual social media posters sometimes are the only source of information on a given topic. However, it creates situations where a piece of information can spread via social media and become “truth” quickly. This is especially the case when it comes to the number of soldier deaths – an individual says “There were 2 soldiers shot in THIS PLACE today.” without any source attribution.  In my estimation, there are more “quasi” journalistic sources in Azerbaijan than in Armenia and in both countries they are sometimes the source of new information, but that’s just my impression.

A case of this is photos of tanks going to the front line. One social media based Azerbaijani news source posted a photo of tanks on a train that was widely liked and shared. Then another set of tank photos was shared via social media and originated from a Russian news site, but social media users demonstrated that the photos were old. While it is possible that tanks are going to the front and that some of the photos are recent, some are obviously not.

Another interesting case that came out was ANS-TV (Azerbaijani state TV)’s website posted that there were 51 casualties on the Armenian side, and cited an Armenian journalist named Eduard Abramyan’s (that’s an incorrect spelling of that surname, by the way) Twitter account. But savvy social media users saw that the ANS screenshot of the Armenian’s Twitter account had the “delete” button visible, and that can only appear if one is the OWNER of the Twitter account. (Photo via Meydan TV.)

graphic

3. Yet, it is understandable that people are getting news from social media. There was a lot of anger in Azerbaijan on Friday that the TV stations were not covering this major news story. (Photo via North Caucasus Caucus.)

twitter

But at the same time, I wonder if the local TV stations CAN actually cover this story “live” a la CNN. I don’t know if they have the authorization to do so, or the capacity. Plus, this isn’t like an earthquake where there is a public service need to inform people “live” about what is going on. I suspect that people are angry and they want to direct their anger somewhere and the local TV stations are an open target.

4. And then there is the demonstration of concern about this issue via social media. The initial reaction amongst Azerbaijani social media users, across the political spectrum, was a great deal of profile and cover photo changes (or Instagram photo posts) to a black ribbon, sometimes with the Azerbaijani flag. (Much of it is of a religious nature as well, as noted by North Caucasus Caucus on Twitter, who is also collecting a lot of the social media posts.)

ribbon

ribbon2 remember

And beyond individuals, a number of the Facebook pages for Baku shops and eating establishments also started posting memorial graphics.

2014-08-02 20.31.402014-08-02 20.27.402014-08-02 19.51.102014-08-02 08.39.572014-08-01 11.54.512014-08-01 12.49.06

I guess if you’re a business, you’re damned it you, damned if you don’t.

For both individuals and businesses, there is a great deal of social pressure to demonstrate this sort of concern for this issue. I’m not saying that the concern is not genuine, but that social media encourages this sort of viral social pressure mentality. (See other cases of this here and here.) And this may be especially true in Azerbaijan where the demonstration of patriotism/nationalism is especially salient. (See here and here).

5. Twitter, unlike Facebook, is a space where Armenians and Azerbaijanis can “discuss” this issue and there certainly seems to be a lot of chatter, compared to the normal quantity of Twitter activity in both countries.

These are all the mentions of the word “Karabakh” on Twitter in the last 9 hours and the links between those users (note that most people in Armenia and Azerbaijan were sleeping at the time, so a lot of the posters are based in North America and Europe). Most mentions are disconnected from any other users – a lot of posting of news stories, basically. So this introduces a lot of people into a Twitter analysis who might just be posting a big news story “There is fight in Nagorno Karabakh” and they aren’t usually involved in regional Twitter stuff, nor are they engaging in any sort of discussion. This makes social media analysis tough!

Yet I have seen (not measured, but seen) an increase in random Armenians and Azerbaijanis responding to Twitter posts. I suspect that some (bored? young?) people do searches on Twitter to find people to “troll.”

In conclusion, this is a scary time and the escalation of violence is upsetting. Karabakh is a “frozen” conflict that is not actually frozen at all. And the Internet allows for information to be shared and disputed – which is both a good thing (more information from more sources may be good; and as more citizens have the ability to report on what they see, we know more about what is going on) and a bad thing (the ability to create false information, lack of attribution). Social media as a platform is similarly good and bad. People can demonstrate their concern for what is going on and discuss events, but also the harassment through hacking and trolling brings a lot of negativity to an already negative situation.

I wonder how the regimes themselves feel about all this social media information spreading. Are the regimes using it to their advantage or is it a dangerous unknown variable in the equation of battle?

There is a lot of other stuff going on in both states right now – Azerbaijan is in the midst of a human rights crackdown and Armenia is on track to become closer to Russia (who arms both sides of this conflict, FWIW). Escalations on the frontline may very well be a tool to distract citizens from other issues and rally them around a concern about “the enemy” – also this provides a good social pressure tool – “why are you so worried about X when our boys are being killed!?!”. And based on this social media analysis, people are very distracted by this escalation right now.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Facebook in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia


Number of Facebook users in the Caucasus is a popular topic. I did this analysis with data from Facebook itself.

From the 2013 Caucasus Barometer, we see that 20% of Armenian adults, 16% of Azerbaijani adults, and 26% of Georgian adults use Facebook at least once a week. (Also provided are the percentages out of Internet users.) This matches up pretty well with the Facebook information that had the following for those older than 14 in the countries: Armenia: 25%, Azerbaijan: 19%, and Georgia: 34%.

facebookusers

The Caucasus Barometer also asked about number of friends. This is always difficult because people aren’t sitting at their computers/phones and often have a hard time estimating.

friends2

The Caucasus Barometer asked about most frequent Facebook activities this year. See the chart above. I would have loved to have seen all activities asked about separately, as it is hard to really pin down one activity on Facebook, but oh well.

Interestingly, newsfeed reading is the most popular activity in Armenia and Georgia, whereas there is much greater variance in Azerbaijan. I suspect that the variance is due to the use of Facebook as a “free”(ish) space for deliberation in Azerbaijan whereas in Armenia and Georgia there are other places for free discussion.

fbactivities

 


March 2014 – Facebook ad suggestions at Facebook use in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia


This is an update to this post from January.

It is hard to know how many people in a country are using Facebook, but through Facebook’s Ad selling program, you can get some rounded information. The numbers they give are not exact, so these percentages displayed below are not accurate for the true number of users. THESE RESULTS MAY NOT ADD UP TO REASONABLE 100%S. I calculated everything from the actual population. So when it says 36% of Georgian women are X, I calculated from the population data from the World Bank. This isn’t SOLID information, but it does come FROM Facebook, so it is a little bit better than SocialBakers.

This is what it looks like to find out this information:

facebook

So, Armenia has 2,974,184 people, Azerbaijan 9,590,159 people, and Georgia 4,555,911 people total according to the World Bank and after I subtracted those age 0-14 (World Bank’s category, not mine) the populations are Armenia: 2,460,436; Azerbaijan: 7,419,487; Georgia: 3,855,233.

Facebook Ads says that this many people in each of those countries is a potential viewer of their ads (thus a Facebook user): Armenia: 580,000 (in January) 620,000 (in March); Azerbaijan: 1,320,000 (in January) 1,380,000 (in March); Georgia: 1,220,000 (in January) 1,280,000 (in March).

Thus, here are the percentages of the age 14+ populations of each country who are on Facebook:

a(January)a2

Armenia: 25%
Azerbaijan: 19%
Georgia: 34%

So that is interesting, but let us look at gender differences (I took the direct gender population data from the age distribution tables – this is not 50/50, but more accurate).

b(January)b2

Armenians and Georgians are evenly distributed gender-wise on Facebook. And Azerbaijanis, well, this gender difference isn’t surprising.

c(January)c2

In terms of the balance of users, Armenians are fairly even, Georgians have a bit more women and you can see that about 2/3rds of Azerbaijanis on Facebook are men. Although this may seem shocking, this is much better than it has been in previous years.

A category that the World Bank uses is ages 15-24 and we know that 18% of Armenians and Azerbaijanis and 14% of Georgians are in that age range – I again used the raw numbers from the World Bank to calculate these.

Armenia Azerbaijan Georgia
ages 15-24 280000 780000 540000
male 15-24
500000 260000
% to pop 0.54032849 0.574409822 0.856504848
female 15-24 134000 280000 280000
% to pop 0.548320768 0.329550564 0.9054309690.905430969

d(January) EDIT: THIS SHOULD BE 15-24 YEAR OLDS!

d2

Wow Georgia! Most Georgian young adults are on Facebook, no doubt about that. About half of Armenian young adults and for Azerbaijan 57% of male young adults and a third of female young adults.

I also looked at the 13-18 year old users on Facebook, but I can’t compare them to the total population of 13-18 year old males and females in these states because I don’t have the data from the WorldBank. But here are the raw numbers and the ratio of male to female.

Armenia Azerbaijan Georgia
ages 13-18 130000 300000 240000
male 13-18 66000 190000 116000
female 13-18 64000 110000 128000
male/female 1.03125 1.727272727 0.90625

And here are the raw numbers for 18+, which I can’t analyze by age category because I don’t have the WorldBank data to compare, and the ratio of male to female.

Armenia Azerbaijan Georgia
ages 18+ 520000 1180000 110000
male 18+ 260000 760000 500000
female 18+ 260000 420000 600000
male/female 1 1.80952381 0.833333333

Those ratios in Azerbaijan are notable.

For comparison, here’s Caucasus Barometer derived information from 2012.


Facebook in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia – 2013 – with a gender focus


While figuring out technology penetration rates isn’t my main interest, people do ask me a lot.

I get nervous about giving percentages because I am more interested in demographic divides – gender, wealth, education, region, etc. And for the most part, giving penetrations rates doesn’t allow for that. (See here for more on this.)

But a journalist was asking today about Facebook users in Azerbaijan and I learned about a new way to find out how many Facebook users are in a country — through Facebook’s Ad selling programs. While I don’t totally trust this information (numbers are too round, this counts ever used, not current or regular users), it is interesting. ETA: But the numbers they give  are not exact, so these percentages displayed below are not accurate for the true number of users. I calculated everything from the actual population. So when it says 36% of Georgian women are X, I calculated from the population data from the World Bank. This isn’t SOLID information, but it does come FROM Facebook, so it is a little bit better than SocialBakers.

This is what it looks like to find out this information:

facebook

So, Armenia has 2,974,184 people, Azerbaijan 9,590,159 people, and Georgia 4,555,911 people total according to the World Bank and after I subtracted those age 0-14 (World Bank’s category, not mine) the populations are Armenia: 2,460,436; Azerbaijan: 7,419,487; Georgia: 3,855,233.

Facebook Ads says that this many people in each of those countries is a potential viewer of their ads (thus a Facebook user): Armenia: 580,000; Azerbaijan: 1,320,000; Georgia: 1,220,000 (for those that think this is a competition, Georgia is “winning”). Let us acknowledge that these numbers from Facebook are way too round, thus they are rough estimates. We can’t trust them completely. But let’s see what we have.

Thus, here are the percentages of the age 14+ populations of each country who are on Facebook:

a

Armenia: 24%
Azerbaijan: 18%
Georgia: 32%

So that is interesting, but let us look at gender differences (I took the direct gender population data from the age distribution tables – this is not 50/50, but more accurate).

b

Armenians and Georgians are evenly distributed gender-wise on Facebook. And Azerbaijanis, well, this gender difference isn’t surprising.

c

In terms of the balance of users, Armenians are fairly even, Georgians have about 10% more women and you can see that about 2/3rds of Azerbaijanis on Facebook are men. Although this may seem shocking, this is much better than it has been in previous years.

A category that the World Bank uses is ages 15-24 and we know that 18% of Armenians and Azerbaijanis and 14% of Georgians are in that age range – I again used the raw numbers from the World Bank to calculate these.

Armenia Azerbaijan Georgia
ages 15-24 280000 780000 540000
male 15-24 136000 500000 260000
% to pop 0.50332 0.552317 0.795326
female 15-24 134000 280000 280000
% to pop 0.524821 0.329551 0.905431

d

EDIT: THIS SHOULD BE 15-24 YEAR OLDS!

Wow Georgia! Most Georgian young adults are on Facebook, no doubt about that. About half of Armenian young adults and for Azerbaijan 55% of male young adults and a third of female young adults.

I also looked at the 13-18 year old users on Facebook, but I can’t compare them to the total population of 13-18 year old males and females in these states because I don’t have the data from the WorldBank. But here are the raw numbers and the ratio of male to female.

Armenia Azerbaijan Georgia
ages 13-18 124000 300000 240000
male 13-18 62000 190000 114000
female 13-18 62000 112000 124000
male/female 1 1.696429 0.919355

And here are the raw numbers for 18+, which I can’t analyze by age category because I don’t have the WorldBank data to compare, and the ratio of male to female.

Armenia Azerbaijan Georgia
ages 18+ 480000 1140000 106000
male 18+ 240000 740000 480000
female 18+ 240000 420000 560000
male/female 1 1.761905 0.857143

Those ratios in Azerbaijan are notable.

For comparison, here’s Caucasus Barometer derived information from 2012.


Facebook Friends analysis… So many options!


bestfriends

A Facebook plugin called Find Your Best Friend On FB has blown up this week.

I assume that it looks at private messaging frequency and frequncy of likes and comments and then pops out a photo of you with that person.

I don’t really like these apps because they’re scanning your private messages and that makes me nervous. I did install it, run it, and then remove it though. It did seem to be accurate.

But there are a ton of other fun ways to visualize and analyze your Facebook network.

The first one is from Wolfram Alpha which has a plug in that does a lot of analysis and visualization, although no “best friends.”

Instead it has social insiders (shares the most friends) and social connectors (bridges between groups (like my twin sister is a bridge between my family group and my schoolmates group).

You can also see what friends like your stuff the most and comments on your stuff the most. That was really interesting to me.

NameGenWeb is my favorite app for this but it is down right now.

TouchGraph is pretty good too and is fast and mostly focuses on the networks that people have put themselves in (usually university networks). It ranks your friends (on number of friends in common). This wasn’t very accurate for me because it looks at those university networks more strongly than other factors. So, for example, a lot of people I grew up with attended Michigan State University in the late 1990s. I also have a number of friends who I did not grow up with who went there for their PhDs in the mid-late 2000s. That doesn’t mean much in terms of the connections between these groups.
touchgraph

FriendsGraph is an interesting one but the visualizations are pretty boring.

friendsgraph

I like to use NodeXL and its Social Media Importer, but using it requires you to download some programs, so this is not a quick click. But the analysis is much more detailed (I added the labels to this picture).

11612479046_3eb5d0a825_o

 

 


Social Networking Sites in Armenia – Facebook for Elites, Odnoklassniki for Everyone Else


(This is a continuation of a post I made in 2010 about this issue. This analysis based on the 2013 Alternative Resources in Media dataset.)

So, the social networking site that one spends time on isn’t arbitrary. Research tells us that generally people go where their friends are, but also that there are demographic differences in site choice. A study of MySpace versus Facebook in 2007 is the classic case of this. For a variety of reasons, wealthier and more educated people were on Facebook and poorer and less educated people were on MySpace. Nowadays in the U.S., Facebook has sort of taken over the social networking space and a lot of those demographic differences have gone away.

In the 2010 analysis posted above, Facebook in Armenia was quite elite while Odnoklassniki was not. Some reasons include that Odnoklassniki was more accessible on for free or cheap on mobile devices, the Russian language interface was more accessible to those without English skills (at the time Facebook was mainly an English language platform), Odnoklassniki was more about fun (and porn), and Facebook wasn’t great on a mobile device.

Fast forward to 2013, and things have changed. Facebook has grown a lot globally. The Facebook mobile platform is very user-friendly. Russian and Armenian versions of Facebook work quite well. More Armenians are online as well.

So I looked once again at use. Let’s first look at the overall picture before going into the demographic differences.

(Note that this is PRIMARY SNS, they could have accounts on the other site.)
First you can see that a third of all Armenian adults are on a social networking site and 70% of all adult Armenian Internet users are on a social networking site. The Odnoklassniki versus Facebook breakdown is that 10% of all Armenian adults are on Facebook, but 20% of all Armenian adults are on Odnoklassniki. Of Internet users, less than a quarter are on Facebook while nearly half (45%) are on Odnoklassniki. The comparative breakdown is a third of SNS users on Facebook and two-thirds on Odnoklassniki.

snschoice

In terms of the time that is spent on the social networking site, there weren’t tremendous differences. About a third are on the SNS several times a day and most of the rest of the users are on the SNS at least once a day.

freq

So who is on each site?

(This is based on an ANOVA):

There is no difference in age between Facebook and Odnoklassniki and other SNS users in AGE. However, non SNS users are much older. It is the same story with ECONOMIC WELLBEING – non SNS users are poorer than SNS users. The same is for RUSSIAN skills – the only difference is with non-SNS users and users.
ENGLISH skills – Facebook users (and other SNS users, but they’re weird, so let’s ignore them) have statistically significantly higher English skills than others.
Facebook users are also statistically significantly higher in EDUCATION than everyone else.
No differences in SEX.

So, we can summarize that Facebook users are more elite – English speaking and better educated. Thus, not a big chance from 2010.

(This is based on a multinominal logistic regression):
Looking at this 2013 data, the determinants of being an Odnoklassniki user are the following. In this analysis, all the different factors consider each other, so for example, the influence of higher education on English language skill is cancelled out, so each variable is really telling its own story.

First, Sex – men are more likely to be on Odnoklassniki than women. Next, Russian language skills – those with better Russian are more likely to be on Odnoklassniki than those with poor Russian. Then English skills matter. Then education.
Determinants of being on Facebook are first English skill. Better English means more likely to be on Facebook. Next, higher education. Russian language skill matters next.

For both Odnoklassniki and Facebook, age and economic status didn’t matter much. However, younger and wealthier people are more likely to be online. So it appears that once you’re online, your choice of social networking site is more about language skills and education.

So, with that, what are people doing on social networking sites?

Remember that Facebook users are more “elite” – so the activities they do will likely be more elite as well.

In terms of communicating with friends, posting photos, and entertainment no big differences between the sites. However, Facebook users are more interested in getting and sharing information. Odnoklassniki users are also playing more games than Facebook users.

snsactivities

When asked what the most important activity on a social networking site, Facebook users were much more likely to say getting information.

mostimportant

When asked about sharing political and social information, Facebook users are much more likely to share than Odnoklassniki users. But the majority of all social networking site users aren’t sharing (they say!).

sharing


Age distributions on Internet and Social Networking Sites in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia


I had a request via Twitter for age analysis on social media use in the Caucasus. Ask and you shall receive.

But first, let’s start with Internet frequency.

Certainly, there are a lot more younger people online than there are older people in all 3 countries.

Interestingly, two-thirds of Armenian 18-24 year olds are online daily and only 13% of that age group aren’t online at all. Nearly half of 25-34 year old Armenians are online daily as well, but a third of that age group aren’t online at all. In Georgia it is similar with 61% of 18-24 year olds online daily and 11% never online. 43% of 25-34 year old Georgians are online daily and a little over a quarter are never online. Nearly all Georgians over 65 are not online, while in Armenia only 89% of that age group are not online. Ura to those Tatiks and papiks!

am

ge

az

But then there is Azerbaijan. Over half of 18-24 year olds in Azerbaijan aren’t online. 60% of 25-34 year olds aren’t online. And pretty low percentages in the older age categories are online. But, as always with Azerbaijan, you have to look at gender. So, here are the breakdowns for the 18-24 and 25-34 categories where you can see tremendous gender differences.

18-24

25-34

Social networking site use is quite popular in all three countries, but let’s examine the age distributions.

In Armenia, 63% of 18-24 year olds are on a social networking site and 44% of 25-34 year olds are. In Georgia 72% of 18-24 year olds are on a social networking site and 58% of 25-34 year olds are. Wow! Then we come to Azerbaijan where only 28% of 18-24 year olds and 23% of 25-34 year olds are on a social networking site. Again, the gender dimension certainly is an issue here.

am

ge

az

The website socialbakers.com has age distribution information for Facebook for every country. I don’t put a lot of weight into it, but I also did these pie charts to resemble socialbakers’, as that was what was requested via Twitter.

am

sb

az

sb

ge

sb


Facebookistan.am, Facebookistan.az, Facebookistan.ge in 2012


fb

This is an update to this post about 2011. 2012 overall Internet use here.

All data is from the Caucasus Barometer.

We know that a larger percentage of Armenians (52%) and Georgians (43%) are online than Azerbaijanis (27%) and weekly or more often adult Internet users are 43% of Armenians, 33% of Georgians, and 19% of Azerbaijanis.

Armenia has 3,100,236 people, Azerbaijan 9,168,000 people, and Georgia 4,486,000 people – but that’s total population, we need to look at just adults (since that’s the data we have about Internet use – I fully acknowledge that teenagers are online and may be using social media). According to the World Bank, 20% of Armenians, 21% of Azerbaijanis, and 17% of Georgians are ages 0-14.

So, let’s take them out of the equation – (that’s 620,047 Armenians, 1,925,280 Azerbaijanis, and 762,620 Georgians) – and you have “adult” populations of 2,480,189 AM, 7,242,720 AZ, and 3,723,380 GE. So raw weekly or daily Internet users would be:

744,057 in 2011 and 1,289,698 in 2012 Armenia
941,554 in 2011 and 1,376,117 in 2012 Azerbaijan
1,042,546 in 2011 and 1,228,715 in 2012 Georgia

Thus in 2012, there are about 1.2-1.4 million weekly or daily Internet users in each country, with Azerbaijan having the most in raw numbers, despite the lowest percentage.

map_caucasus

In 2011, 6% of Armenians, 7% of Azerbaijanis, and 9% of Georgians (ADULTS) were on Facebook (let’s leave Odnoklassniki out of this for now). In 2012, 27% of Armenians, 13% of Azerbaijanis, and 30% of Georgians were on a social networking site.

Raw numbers then would be:

148,811 in 2011 and 669,651 in 2012 in Armenia
506,990 in 2011 and 941,554 in 2012 in Azerbaijan
335,104 in 2011 and 1,117,014 in 2012 in Georgia

map_caucasus

Socialbakers.com is a website that gives Facebook statistics. I’m not very comfortable using it because of its lack of transparency and because we don’t know where they get any of their data, but let’s see what they say.

ARMENIA
Total Facebook Users     395340 – I have 669,651 adults, so this seems off (although Odnoklassniki could be a factor)
Position in the list     112
Penetration of population     13.32% – I have 27% of adults
Penetration of online population     29.06% – I have 53% of adults

AZERBAIJAN
Total Facebook Users     1013080 – I have 941,554 adults, so this seems reasonable
Position in the list     82
Penetration of population     12.20% – I have 13% of adults, so this seems a little low for total population
Penetration of online population     23.97%I have 50% of adults, so this seems really off

GEORGIA
Total Facebook Users     969840 — 1,117,014 adults, so this seems fairly close
Position in the list     85
Penetration of population     20.95% — I have 30% of adults, so this is off
Penetration of online population     82.84% – I have 70% of adults, so this seems okay

In the future I’ll look at socialbaker’s gender and age breakdown and see if it matches with what comes from the Caucasus Barometer.

(This is a copy and paste from what I wrote about 2011, but I wrote it in winter 2012.)

Okay, so back to my original point — I’ve noticed that the Azerbaijani Facebook and Twitter worlds is substantially more active than the Armenian one. (I acknowledge that I’m not up on what is going on in Georgia, but for reasons explained below, you’ll see that it is probably similar to Armenia). Why is this?

1. The raw numbers noted above — a lot more Azerbaijanis are on Facebook than Armenians. (I’m going to leave these countries’ diasporas out of this, but for what it’s worth, I feel like the Azerbaijani diaspora engages with Republic of Azerbaijan citizens more than Armenian diaspora do with Republic of Armenia citizens).
2. Because of the lack of free expression and assembly in Azerbaijan, most political discussion takes place on Facebook. Armenians can do this fairly freely in cafes or homes. Similarly, Armenians can organize and be political active in ways that Azerbaijanis cannot.
3. Language is a big part of this. As I wrote before, users of the Azerbaijani language are at a serious advantage over users of Armenian or Georgian because Azerbaijani uses the Latin script. This is also a special concern when it comes to Twitter and even more so when it comes to mobile phones (only the most recent Android OS has Armenian and Georgian, iPhone has it, but the others? No way). But my overall point is that there are barriers to Armenians and Georgians using these sites.
4. This is entirely speculative, but I get the sense that Bakuvians are just way more wired than Yerevantsis are. The Baku social media scene, beyond politics, is always jumpin’! There are a ton of Azerbaijani Instagrammers, Pinteresters, and other social media platform users. I just don’t see that same sort of scene in Yerevan. Yes, there is a bit of a FourSquare scene and of course people use these social media sites, but not to the extent that I see in Azerbaijan. (Although this may be a result of the sheer numbers!!)

I’m sure there are other reasons, and I’d love to hear comments…