February 26, 2009

The mass market race

How many years did it take for some of last century's innovations and present ones, to be adopted by 150 million users?

38 years for TV, 14 for cellphone, 7 for the iPod and 5 for Facebook.

[Via: The Trend Watch]


vikram said...

haha... thats what is called a biased estimate... for eg- if the telephone and tv had not been around mass market advertising and internet wldnt ve caught up- would fb and ipod still have hit it as high that fast?

Chimpunzee said...

Cherry pick much?

No doubt things are faster than 100 years ago, but really. Plot how many years it took for dial up to be replace by broadband (say 150M users). Plot how many years for terrestrial broadcast TV to be replace by cable. You'll find they don't fit your thesis.

Hunter said...

Also this does not factor in population growth, which negatively skews the growth of the telephone and television. The population of the U.S. in 1876 was less than 50 million and in 1952 was barely 150 million.

Trey said...

That was going to be my comment. Yes, it took facebook 5 years to reach 150 million people, but there are over 6.5 billion now. When television was introduced, there were less than 2 billion.

If you did it by percent of the world population penetrated, TV took 10 years or so to reach 2.3% of the world population (about what 150 million is today). It took Facebook 5 years to do that. So, yes, faster, just not 8 times faster.

Also, false comparison (facebook vs TV). TV is a physical vehicle for transmitting content, facebook is content transmitted on a vehicle (internet/computers), so not really very comparable.

Nylund said...

The change in population is a HUGE factor, but so is the fact that facebook is FREE (unlike any of those other things).

To make this better, control for population growth (how much time did it take for each item to be adopted by X% of the population?) And, take into account the relative cost of each item.

Also, in the early days of the telephone, a physical wire had to be installed connecting your house to the system. That was a big obstacle to overcome, especially in rural America. Some people may have wanted a telephone but not had the option.

Launchpad said...

What's different with Facebook, as opposed to all the other technologies mentioned, is that as Nylund said Facebook is free. All the other technologies mentioned involved paying money (often a lot) for a relatively new product that didn't yet have all the bugs worked out of it.

The early iPods cost $400, I think.

A more fair comparison would be how long Facebook, MySpace, etc. each took to reach 150 million users.

Anonymous said...

the web browser was in use by about 150 million within 5 years of Netscape's product launch