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Media (R)evolutions: 1 billion people logged on to Facebook in 1 day

Roxanne Bauer's picture

New developments and curiosities from a changing global media landscape: People, Spaces, Deliberation brings trends and events to your attention that illustrate that tomorrow's media environment will look very different from today's, and will have little resemblance to yesterday's.

Facebook recently realized a truly astonishing milestone. For the first time ever, one billion people worldwide visited the social networking site in a single day on Monday, August 24, 2015.  With a world population of around 7.25 billion, this means that roughly 1 out of every 7 people alive visited the site within one 24-hour period.  

Of the one billion, 83.1% come from outside of the US and Canada, with India, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey, and the Philippines leading the pack.  Efforts like the controversial Internet.org, which strives to deliver basic internet services to developing countries using solar-powered planes, allow the company to further grow its reach.

So how did Facebook achieve this? The infographic below charts Facebook’s rise, from its 2004 launch to the billion users it has today.

Facebook's 1 billion users

Pilot programs in Central, South America find new ways to reduce extreme poverty

Ana Revenga's picture
Pilot Programs in Central, South America Find New Ways To Reduce Extreme Poverty


This fall is a pivotal time for the international development community. We are shifting from a Millennium Development Goal that challenged the world to halve the global extreme poverty rate, to a Sustainable Development Goal that asks us to build on that momentum and work toward a true end to extreme poverty.

Make no mistake; this will not be easy. We will need sustained, shared growth, with a special emphasis on agricultural growth in the poorest countries. We will need programs and policies that are equitable, ensuring that every child has the same opportunities to succeed in life, and that all citizens are able to benefit from fiscal and social systems and representative institutions. And we will need to ensure that those who live in extreme poverty, and those who are vulnerable to falling back in, are protected when global or local markets fail, and when disease and drought persist in their communities.

Young people run faster, but seniors know the shortcuts

Johannes Koettl's picture
In a world of increasingly fluid labor markets, many older workers fear being pushed aside and out of their jobs by younger, more dynamic employees. But is this worry really justified? Are we less productive as we age?

The answer to the question has important implications for how well we can keep older people at work. As I have argued together with Wolfgang Fengler before, we not only live longer and healthier lives, but we also have the potential to work longer.

Yet, this will only happen if we have the right skills and abilities for the job also at old age. It is quite obvious that our body becomes slower and weaker as we grow old - but what about our brain? And even if our body and brain get weaker - does it matter for employers?

The future of government is open

Stephen Davenport's picture


The World Bank Group sees the pillars of a more open and citizen centric government--transparency, citizen participation, and collaboration--as strategic priorities in its work on governance because they suggest concrete ways to promote shared prosperity. Having made significant strides to increasing openness in the Bank's own work, we seek to build on this progress to support client governments in their own efforts to make the development process more inclusive. 

Greening the Energy Sector in the Middle East and North Africa

Charles Cormier's picture
 Robert Robelus l World Bank

One question that often arises when I meet colleagues who work on climate change is how the energy sector in the Middle East will adapt to a carbon-constrained world.   In May 2015, my inbox was flooded with articles that quoted the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Ali al-Naimi, who declared that Saudi Arabia aspires to be a global power in solar and wind and could start exporting renewable energy instead of fossil fuels in the coming years.

​Caribbean PPPs come of age: Boot camp-style workshops kick off new approach to partnerships

Luciana Guimaraes Drummond E Silva's picture
Street scene in Delmas, Haiti
“Plantain nu eat like rice” — a Caribbean saying roughly translated as “Make do with what is available to you” — applies to the region’s experience with public-private partnerships (PPPs) as well as to life on the islands. For many decades, implementation of PPPs in the Caribbean has been mixed; government officials and citizens alike have had to “make do” with these results.  

Some partnerships have successfully delivered new or improved roads, ports, airports, bulk water treatment facilities, and electricity generation plants, along with other high-quality infrastructure facilities. However, other promising PPPs faced challenges that were never overcome. ​In many cases, the complexity of the PPP development and implementation process meant long delays in delivering projects; others resulted in questionable value or unexpected costs to governments or consumers. 

To help Caribbean governments fulfill the promise of PPPs to deliver improved infrastructure assets and services, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), the World Bank Group (WBG), and the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF) have created the Caribbean Regional Support Facility. This US$1.2 million program was launched at the High-Level Workshop on Practical Implementation on PPPs in Saint Lucia on June 15.  An important component of its near-term activities, an upcoming series of boot camp-style workshops, will increase technical capacity among Caribbean government officials, offering the depth and breadth that’s been missing from the PPP market.

A pathway to more sustainable development in Timor-Leste?

Bolormaa Amgaabazar's picture
My first visit to Timor-Leste was in 2004. At that time, I saw very little infrastructure around the capital Dili. Then in 2014, I visited Dili before settling down as Country Representative for Timor-Leste and noticed big changes compared to 10 years ago. Dili is now bustling with activities and the markets are packed with people. There are many new roads and bridges, more new buildings, shopping centers, hotels and restaurants.

What are we talking about when we talk about “subnational” governments?

Arturo Herrera Gutierrez's picture


Municipality of Guatapé in Colombia. Photo - Adrienne Hathaway / World Bank

Over the last 25 years, the relevance of local governments (states, provinces, municipalities, etc.) in Latin America has been constantly increasing. The process started with a wave of decentralization, particularly in the education and health sectors, followed by the increasing of other responsibilities of local governments (with the accompanying budget!), and most recently topped off by the allocation of additional investment resources fueled by the commodities boom of the mid-2000s. Currently, in some countries, half of the national budget is now allocated to lower levels of governments.

Would you lose weight if we paid you?

Arndt Reichert's picture

If you were given a small reward every time you worked out, would you be more inclined to stick to a permanent exercise regimen? How much would that incentive have to be? Would regular exercise be beneficial for your health and ultimately to the greater society?

Monetary incentives are being increasingly introduced by policymakers into all kinds of interventions across a wide range of sectors including health, education, and the environment. The rationale for this trend is that we often make choices without accounting for how these choices may affect other people (and sometimes even ourselves). Obesity is one such example. It imposes high healthcare costs on society. Economists argue that well-designed monetary incentives can drive people to alter their choices so that everyone can benefit. 

​In health, the bulk of existing literature concludes that financial incentive schemes promoting healthy behavior are quite effective in the short run. Think about all the times we’ve rushed to our favorite exercise class lest we be fined for a no-show or were rewarded for showing up for ten classes in a row. Now what happens when those incentives eventually disappear altogether?


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