Helani Galpaya’s work and LIRNEasia’s research has been drawn upon for a newspaper column. The novel element we had never thought of is using Facebook as a data source:
One other metric is available to anyone, just go to facebook.com/ads and create an ad. It will tell you how many people your ad can reach. For people of all ages, that number is 1,126,020. That is, Facebook has 1.13 million users that claim they’re in Sri Lanka. Even if you lop off 130,000 as errors, it’s still over a million Sri Lankans on Facebook.
So What Now?
So, to come round the bend, my rough guess is we have at least two million people on the Internet, or about 10% of the population. The raw numbers say 1.3 million, so why round-up so much? Well, because connections are used by multiple people, and I think we must have more Internet users than Facebook accounts. A lot of people also use the net at work, and thus wouldn’t be counted.