Facebook continues to morph into the most massive social networking site known to man. As of a few days ago according to Facebook Statistics there are now over 500 million user accounts on this social networking monster. The amount of people on this site and the time people are participating (700 billion minutes monthly) on this site are phenomenal. Law enforcement as well as other business models have a huge opportunity to communicate with shareholders and constituents in this flourishing communication platform. A recent article by Muhammad Saleem on Mashable shows the number of Facebook users in the US and major US cities.
US Law enforcement agencies in particular have a huge opportunity to engage with their constituents. As you can see below New York has almost 4 million Facebook users Chicago, Los Angeles, and Houston have approximately half their populations using Facebook and Philadelphia has approximately 100% of their population using Facebook.
Based on my experience in police work I personally see a huge value add in engagement with Facebook users by law enforcement. Law enforcement agencies have the opportunity to communicate their mission, crime prevention information, crimes in progress, wanted person information and the like for free on Facebook. The startling numbers of users on Facebook in Philadelphia alone would cause me as a detective to use Facebook as a location to potentially cultivate leads on criminal cases. The Facebook numbers are growing, at the time Muhammad Saleem developed the above graphics for Mashasble the Facebook population was just over 400 million. The numbers above are surely higher now and show no sign of slowing down.
Law enforcement agencies need to do more than set up a Facebook fan page, they need to engage and grow a community using their Facebook fan page. Law enforcement has a huge opportunity to engage people where they spend time and right now in the US it appears almost half the population is spending large amounts of time on Facebook. MV