What is that referring to?

Noon2501

Senior Member
Arabic-Egypt
Hello,

Context:
This reflects the growing concern and suspicion among the younger
users about mainstream social media applications such as Facebook
which, at a penetration of 72 per cent of online adults, is no longer
growing. While 77 per cent of online females are on Facebook, only
66 per cent of men are.

Question:
What does the highlighted sentence in bold refer to? What penetration? Does it mean how Facebook has reached a large percent of online adults, or is the sentence actually referring to "the growing concern and suspicion" mentioned in the beginning? I need an explanation to this part, please.

Book: Too Fast to Think
Author: Chris Lewis

Thanks!
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    It refers to Facebook. "Which" introduces a relative clause describing Facebook ("which [=Facebook] is no longer growing"). "At a penetration of 72 per cent of online adults" is a rather inelegant way of saying that 72% of adults who use the internet have Facebook accounts.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    It comes from the marketing term "market penetration".

    Market penetration is a measure of how much a product or service is being used by customers compared to the total estimated market for that product or service. Market penetration can also be used in developing strategies employed to increase the market share of a particular product or service.​
     

    Noon2501

    Senior Member
    Arabic-Egypt
    It comes from the marketing term "market penetration".

    Market penetration is a measure of how much a product or service is being used by customers compared to the total estimated market for that product or service. Market penetration can also be used in developing strategies employed to increase the market share of a particular product or service.​
    So, as I understand, here the penetration is Facebook's (being referred to as a product that made many online users have accounts on it), right?
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Somebody having a Facebook account is considered the equivalent of someone buying a physical product, for instance a bottle of Coke.

    Just as if you buy a bottle of Coke you are user of Coca-Cola, if you have a Facebook account you are a user of Facebook.

    Of course a Facebook account is free so it's not exactly the same thing but it's the same idea. How many people who could have a Facebook account do have a Facebook account? Notice they say online adults. They are not measuring a percentage of all people, just the percentage of people online, because that's the market Facebook operates in. Someone not online can't be on Facebook.
     
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