Facebook announced this morning that it will welcome its 200 millionth user today. That’s a whole lot of people. Just three months ago the company announced it was starting the year out with 150 million users. That kind of growth could make a person’s brain hurt. People want to connect with each other and Facebook is clearly a very compelling way to do that these days.

Just how hot is it though? For context, we looked up some other activities and offer below a list of things that are less popular these days than being a registered user at Facebook. Bowling, for example, appears to be headed the way of MySpace – there are now twice as many Facebook users as there are people who play ten pin bowling around the world.

At 200 million users, Facebook is:

Now imagine if all the brainpower spent on building stupid Facebook apps was instead spent on helping all the malnourished people in India and around the world. Imagine, though, if the 100 million people who like to bowl gave that up in favor of working for world peace.

  • Twice as big as the largest number of people who have ever watched a Superbowl game

  • Twice as big as YouTube

  • Twice as big as Skype

  • Bigger than the number of people who own gaming consoles in their homes (190m)

  • Bigger than the population of all but 4 countries in the world. (Just passed Brazil, next in line is Indonesia and then the US.)

  • Twice as big as eBay.

  • Four times as big as the number of people in the US who run on treadmills.

  • It’s twice as big as the number of malnourished people in India. Another way to look at that is to imagine that half of the people on Facebook were malnourished and living in one place.

These numbers can’t be directly compared with any real meaning, but we think it’s interesting for context. It’s still cooler to live in France than it is to have a Facebook account, even if it is only 30% as popular.

Bowling photo by Flickr user Pål Berge.