Facebook likes have long been the gold standard for "social metrics" simply because they're so easy to understand, the more likes, the more fans, or so the idea goes. But when dealing with the scale of Facebook, just looking at the number of likes a page, brand, celebrity or app has doesn't mean much.
Case in point, the most liked page on Facebook, by a huge margin, is Facebook for Every Phone, i.e. the Java Facebook app for feature phones.
The app is used by millions and millions around the world who don't have smartphones, but have a phone and a data connection.
The Facebook page
for the app has almost 185 million likes and it's getting more at a huge rate, 12.6 million of them in the past 30 days.
It only had 100 million likes six months ago, the first page to get 100 million likes.
In fact, it's still the only page with more than 100 million likes. The page is less than a year old.
The popularity of the page is an indication of how the app is built, users get the option of liking the app when they first log in.
It seems that most choose to do so, but whether they do it because they really like the app or they don't really know what they're doing, likely given that it's maybe the first time they use the app, is another matter.
The fact that it's so popular though shouldn't be surprising, most people in the world still have a feature phone.
For many, it's the only way of getting online. Facebook and plenty of other websites are targeting these phones since they represent a huge and mostly untapped market.
In time though, smartphones will catch up, but having a solid user base by the time this happens could be a great boost.
There's nothing that could threaten Facebook's dominance on the horizon, but it doesn't mean it can't grow any bigger than it is at the moment.