- A map using points of blue light to show how Facebook connections across the globe shows a jump in users in India, Africa, and South America
- But China, where Facebook has been banned for years, remains in the dark
The future looks bright for Facebook, or at least brighter now that Mark Zuckerberg has released a new map with all the friends connected through the site across the world represented by shining points of light.
Countries worldwide are bathed in blue on the striking map, and far more users are represented than were on a similar map released in 2010.
Despite the rising popularity of the social media site, the map has one undeniably black hole: it sits directly over the nation of China.
September 2013: Mark Zuckerberg has proudly made this map his Facebook page's new cover photo. It shows how all the world is connected through the social media behemoth
December 2010: An older map, while impressive, proves just how much Facebook's reach has spread. Notice a darker Africa, South America, and India. China, where Facebook is blocked, is a black hole on the new and old maps
Blue planet: According to Facebook, over a billion users logged on to the social media site each month in 2013, up 23 percent from 2012
As noted by Slate, the People's Republic is no big fan of Facebook. The communist government has blocked Facebook for yearsblaming it, at least in part, on the riots in Urumqi that left 140 dead in 2009along with Twitter, Youtube, and other sites.
Instead of Facebook, Chinese internet users interested in social media log onto the sites Weibo, Weixin, and Renren.
Also a dark spot, on both the new and old Facebook connection maps, is the Dark Continent.
Africa's more populous coastal and southern regions are alight, but no connections are leaping out of the continent's center. Telecom infrastructure here is far less developed, though tech giants like Facebook and Google are working to change that.
Russia is another dark area on the map, though that's owed less to a restrictive government and more to its citizen's preferences. Facebook is only the second most used social network in Mother Russia after the more popular Vkontakte.
While the darker areas of Facebook's maps have remained relatively unchanged, many of the brighter spots have become even more so.
The booming economy of India has no doubt fueled its increased connections on Facebook.
Brazil, another rapidly industrializing country, has also increased its Facebook use, despite the longstanding popularity of Google's Orkut in the South American nation.
While Facebook may not be breaking into the Chinese market, just a glance at these maps makes it clear that the site's popularity is on the rise worldwide and won't be going away any time soon.
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