Israel Facebook Network Goes Viral: Cultural Reporting from the Front Lines

FacebookLogo FacebookHebrew

Three of my Israeli friends have joined Facebook this week and that’s no coincidence. Israel’s Facebook participation is skyrocketing.

Israelis + Facebook = Love

Ha’aretz reports a 100% increase in Israelis on Facebook, going from 74,000 in mid-October to 152,000 in mid-November. On October 25th, I read the message, “Facebook Israel Network hits 100K!”

Does this mean that approximately 2,600 Israelis are joining Facebook a day? How can this be?

Let’s look at what we do know.

Israelis on Facebook by the Numbers

Here are Israel’s Facebook users by chronology:

  • June: 18,000 users
  • August: 18,000 users (no discernible change from June to August)
  • October 15th: 70,000 users
  • October 25th: 100,000 users
  • November 11th: 152,00 users (according to Ha’aretz); Jeff Pulver cites 175,840 for the same day (see chart below)
  • November 19th (today): 184,460*

That’s exponential growth.


* This number has risen to 186,200 from the time I started writing this entry. That’s probably a four hour time span as I took a break in the middle. I can’t imagine 1,700+ Israelis sitting at home on computers in Tel Aviv, Nahariya, Kiryat Shmona, Eilat, Ashdod, and Modi’in signing up for Facebook accounts tonight– but it looks like that is what is happening.

If we are estimating by October and November’s numbers that 2,600 Israelis are joining Facebook a day, tonight’s statistics fit the pattern.

The Growth Rate

What accounts for this tremendous rate of growth?

My friends say that Facebook’s viral marketing has taken root in a number of ways:

  • “All of my classmates were talking about it, so I decided to check it out”
  • “I heard about it at the beginning of the school year” (which started mid-October– note the growth in numbers around that time)
  • More time during the strike to be online

Jacob Richman has recorded over 840 Israel related Facebook groups, although most are started by Jews outside of Israel.

Jeff Pulver marked Israel’s growth rate as second in the world only to Turkey.

Facebook by Country

How High Can Israel’s Numbers Go?

When it comes to Israelis on Facebook, one of the first questions that comes to mind is how high can Israel’s saturation go? Let’s review some key issues that will affect the prediction:

  • Although Facebook is Hebrew and Arabic enabled, most of the features require some degree of English literacy
  • Israel is known worlwide for its technology expertise. Technological penetration within the population is deep as there is high exposure to new technologies and the population is very adaptive
  • It is widely acknowledged that Israel is a communal society based on connections and “protekzia.” Facebook feeds into this inclination

Facebook Gossip

YoelHassonIn the way of Facebook gossip, YNet News featured a story today about members of Knesset creating Facebook profiles.

Yoel Hasson (Kadima), whose Facebook account is two weeks old, says: “The site is an excellent way to communicate with people. Through Facebook I can reach a young audience, the kind of people I don’t easily meet in other places, and for a young MK that deals with student affairs, this is highly important.”IsraelHasson MK

Israel Hasson (Yisrael Beitanu) adds: “I believe it is very important that we use all the means at our disposal to promote the ideas we believe in, and I think we cannot ignore social and technological phenomena like this social network.”

For a drop of humor, check out the captions on the YNet link.


As for me, I will look forward to adding more of my Israeli friends to my social network and plan on keeping you updated on Facebook Israel.


Computer lab photo sourced from here. MK photos sourced from YNet (as linked).

Recommended Reading


Like what you are reading? Please consider subscribing by e-mail or feed reader by clicking the sidebar icons.


11 Responses to Israel Facebook Network Goes Viral: Cultural Reporting from the Front Lines

  1. […] reading: “Israel Facebook Network Goes Viral: Cultural Reporting from the Front Lines” (I will be referring to it frequently in this entry as the basis for discussion and to determine […]

  2. […] “Israeli Facebook Network Goes Viral: Cultural Reporting from the Front Lines” […]

  3. Maya Norton says:

    Sorry, but I can only except English language comments on my blog. If you comment in another language, it will be deleted.

    ~ Maya

    • Alberto says:

      Shalom Maya, Ibelieve that You WANT TO MOUCH , aval lo hashuv ani mivin otach gam ken be italkit,tsarfasit,germanit evrit loasit. …… jesh lah dereshat shalom mi Alberto …. ve im at rotza l’anot if u pls write to Ciao

  4. cliff post says:

    Trying to find Sue Sklar. Sentimental quest to get in touch with an old friend. Not world-shaking, but finding her would shake my world. Anyone with a lead can get in touch with me at

  5. That is very fascinating, You are an excessively professional blogger.
    I have joined your feed and sit up for in quest of more of
    your excellent post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks

  6. yuri manga says:

    yuri manga

    Israel Facebook Network Goes Viral: Cultural Reporting from the Front Lines | The New Jew

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: