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Facebook Invades Toronto: Keeners Rejoice

Popular social networking/hooking-up/friend-keeper-upper site Facebook has invaded Toronto and taken it by storm. How do I know this? – Let me elaborate.

While I don’t use the site excessively like many of my peers do (I like keeping my private life private), I was put on to a note by a friend, and fellow Toronto photoblogger Rannie Turingan. Rannie is a hub in Toronto. Not only does he connect Toronto-based photobloggers, but his reach spans to bloggers, others in the social space, and his other social networks in Toronto which I am not aware of. When I look at his profile he is listed as having 451 friends in Toronto, and over a hundred in his other networks – not only is he popular, but he is also a great photographer!


A post by another friend and fellow Toronto-based blogger, Eva Amsen profiled her Facebook friend network last month (with accompanying diagram above).  In her article Eva analyzes her network, describing the importance of hubs and bridges within networks:

In any network, both the hubs and the bridges are important. Hubs obviously connect many different nodes, and are efficient spreaders of information. … But without bridges, information wouldn’t spread to the further outreaches of a network.

In social networks, bridges are the people who are able to provide you with new connections outside of your regular networks, and they don’t have to be that extensively connected to be able to do so.

Eva’s post is helpful when trying recognizing the best way to disseminate messages, or targeted advertising.

Coming full circle back to Rannie though, in his Facebook profile I caught a note he posted about his observations on Toronto’s adoption of Facebook.  Here is a word-for-word copy of his post because I cannot link directly to his post: (URL for Facebook Users)

So in the last two months my network has grown from 200 to almost 700 people. It’s not the best amount of connections, but it is amazing to see such a growth.
So over the last few weeks I wondered how we compared to other cities. Because I have friends in NYC and San Francisco, but many aren’t signed up or don’t use their accounts that much.
Today I found out how many people are in the Toronto Network. That number is 483,887 people (plus a bunch that don’t even have themselves listed in a geographic network).
When you compare that to all of California which includes 19 networks (LA, San Francisco, San Diego etc) 341 433 people.
NYC (202 600 people)
So if you are living in Toronto and wondering why facebook is growing at an alarming rate. It’s because we here in Toronto are using it more than anywhere else.
We are even bigger that the London UK network which has 321,342 people
In the time it took me to write this post the Toronto Network has grown to 483,944 (57 people) yowza

Rannie’s figures illustrate the hip and socially-aware population we have in Toronto.  This community embraces and utilizes the web and social tools to create and foster community in Toronto – the central tenets to Web 2.0.
How big is your Facebook network, because afterall – size does matter!


  1. Sharon
    Sharon April 17, 2007

    Great article and I agree with all of it but you mean ‘tenets’ at the end, not ‘tenants.’

  2. Melyssa
    Melyssa April 17, 2007

    Georgian College is currently creating an online recruitment environment with the web site and feel that our participation and integration with Facebook further enhances our online efforts of creating an enriched recruitment experience for prospective students.
    Check out our recruitment site at”
    Georgian College is using Facebook to assist in supporting our web marketing objectives. We are attempting to leverage Facebook’s huge adoption rate to assist in attaining our recruitment, retention and promotion goals. There are many groups created by students and administration, alumni and prospective students. The adoption rate is chugging forward at a rate that is both exciting, and overwhelming.
    In examining the activity with Georgian’s Facebook network, we are finding unsolicited brand champions scattered within the groups who are willing to volunteer and represent Georgian College and give honest answers to questions that inquisitive prospects are posting publicly.
    We are also looking at how to effectively handle negative feedback. With the good comes the bad – so we respond to it.
    We give our audience ownership of the brand, encouraging them to share openly and contribute to fixing the things that irk them enough to share with their Facebook friends. We address all the issues we can and post responses to illustrate our level of commitment and enhance our credibility.
    I don’t have any statistics reflecting success as of yet, but Facebook satisfies many of our marketing objectives by having a new place to effectively target our students – prospective, existing and past.
    We are taking the opportunity to help these students by educating them on how to lock down their profiles for privacy and personal security, as well as advising them to be selective about what they post…knowing that future employers can find them easily online.
    Knowing who our target audience really is and where and how they spend their time assists in greatly with our recruitment challenges.
    (Facebook also gives GREAT demographic breakdowns of the users who have joined it and share this statistical information readily. Another Facebook link to the Georgian Network Stats
    If Facebook or other social networking services fall outside of your marketing mix, you may be falling behind.

  3. Dougal Bichan
    Dougal Bichan April 17, 2007

    Great article and interesting too. I was introduced to Facebook recently by my soon-to-be-daughter-in-law.
    I decided to test it out and started a group of people with the first name “Dougal”. I didn’t promote it at all, but within a week four people had found it and signed up. Yes, they all qualified.
    The college connection is interesting, too. I recently found Loyalist offering an internet journalism course on Second Life. We are dicussing the Web 2.0 possibilities with some other colleges, as well.

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