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The Increasing Facebook Users In Nepal

With 1.71 billion monthly active users, one can say with confidence Facebook is the most popular social networking site; many would argue it is the most popular website all together.

Think about a person you know. They have a Facebook account, don’t they? “Yup”, even your 3 days old niece — check that friend request tab — is socializing, who cares her mother is the exclusive operator for that account. Add another “Yup!” for your news feed is going to be full of baby pictures in no time and there is little you can do. (*Comments “so cute” for the hundredth time).

The fact that Facebook has a ubiquitous influence is graspable. But, what about in Nepal. How many Nepalis are on Facebook? If that thought ever crossed your mind, this article has got you covered.

The obtainment of the total Nepali Facebook users became possible through Facebook’s advertisement targeting options.

“When you run a Facebook Ad, you choose the audiences that see it by location, age, interests and more,” according to the website’s ads page. “With Facebook Ads, you choose the type of people you want to reach and we deliver your ads to them.”

And thus, one by one, I was able to filter my mock ads audience to contain people strictly from Nepal. The retrieved data yielded out some interesting and insightful information.

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The Patriarchal Domination

There are 796,422 more females than males in Nepal, i.e. a sex ratio of 94.2 (number of males per 100 females), according to the National Population and Housing Census 2011. However, Facebook’s data suggests Facebook has conflictingly higher number of Nepali men from any given age group than females of the same age group. Why are there not equal numbers of men and women surfing the internet? Ask our society.

Futures of the Nation

It is no surprise that the digital age is more friendly toward the younglings. As we can see on the bar graph, the age group “17-20” has the highest populace on Facebook. There are rapid inclination and tendency of people from this age group to join Facebook. A possible explanation could be because they are fresh coming off of 12+ years (depending on the student) of school education and trying to jumpstart their careers or higher education. Facebook acts as a tool for the young adults to experience culture and views from around the world.

Losing Youths, Losing Manpower

The Nepali youths seem to be getting out of Facebook the older they get. The fall occurs at almost the same speed as the uphill acceleration occurred.

Although this finding lacks conclusiveness — rather a task for an expert Anthropologist or Sociologist — but an interesting correlation can be made, with the ever increasing number of young Nepalis leaving the country seeking better opportunities abroad.

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The year 2015 saw a record number of Nepali students “planning” to study abroad; with 29,380 students having issued a “No Objection Certificate”, a certificate that specifies a student’s intention to study in a foreign country, according to this article by Beckie Smith at www.thepienews.com citing the Ministry of Education of Nepal.

A majority of this student would fall under the “21-24” age group, as it is supposedly the prime age to go to college/university. I stand as a testimony, the first thing an international student does after arriving in the new country is to update his/her Facebook. *lives at country/city changed.

Things do not Look Any Different in the Capital

Theoretically, capital cities are places where people are most liberal and open-minded. The capital city is the hub where new ideas are discussed and sometimes clashed in a showcase of what best the country has to offer. The existence of things like gender inequality or lack of social mobility? A big NO-no in the capital.

But Kathmandu is not your average everyday capital city. As the chart below tells a vivid  tale, in terms of Facebook use, of how Kathmandu in all its glory is still similar to the rest of the country.

[Granting, as an afterthought, Kathmandu has an overwhelming ability to mesmerize anybody; it breathes out the magic.]

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[Here “Kathmandu” is defined as the area within 30-mile radius from the center of the city, in a way covering the Kathmandu valley.]

Can’t-man-you ignore Kathmandu

Out of the estimated 6.5 million Nepali Facebook users, 4 million users hail from the Kathmandu Valley, a metropolitan area. Considering the poverty and status of Nepal as a developing country, this figure is an indisputable one.

Subsequently, as it has been for many years, Kathmandu remains the cardinal representative of Nepal. Whatever good or bad happens in Kathmandu becomes the measurement of judgment for the whole nation, with all due respect to all other towns/districts/areas/localities.

This applies to Facebook use as well. From media juggernauts, artistic minds, medical experts to beautiful science guys, laborious servicemen, and corporate industry giants; they all are concentrated in Kathmandu. And they all are realizing the potentials of social networking sites like Facebook.

(The images and contents on this article is the property of the writer.)

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