“Did you hear?” is a new feature in Sunday’s Money & Opinion section, featuring some of the most interesting, bizarre or just plain cool business news from the week. Take a look:
Facebook: America’s new Bible
WASHINGTON Facebook’s numbers are epic. More Americans check Facebook daily than read the Bible and it has more monthly users worldwide than most continents have people.
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Facebook, which celebrated its 10th anniversary last week, says worldwide it has 757 million daily active users. Of those, 19 percent are in the U.S. and Canada, so that’s more than 143 million people checking Facebook daily.
The Bible used to be the go-to for statistics about reading, pre-digital age. A 2006 CBS News poll found 15 percent of U.S. adults read the Bible or other religious texts daily. There are about 267 million adults in the U.S. and Canada. That means about 40 million people reading the Bible daily.
And then there are monthly users – Facebook claims 1.23 billion of them. That’s more people than live in any country but China.
In fact, Facebook is beyond comparing to nations and is more continental in magnitude. Facebook’s monthly user population is larger than six of the seven continents, only behind Asia. Facebook’s monthly user total is about the population of all of North America and Europe combined.
But all those numbers pale behind this one factoid from Facebook: About 400 billion photos have been shared on Facebook.
That’s lots of selfies.
If you printed them out four to a page on regular-sized sheets of paper and put the 100 billion sheets end to end, they would stretch for about 17 million miles. That’s enough snapshots to reach to the moon and back 34 times.
And it all started 10 years ago in a dorm room.
Banking and finance
Dutch bankers must take the pledge
AMSTERDAM “I swear that I will do my utmost to preserve and enhance confidence in the financial-services industry. So help me God.”
The oath, the first of its kind in Europe, became binding on board members of Dutch banks last month as the government sought to rein in an industry with assets more than four times the size of the country’s economy. All 90,000 Dutch bank employees must take the pledge, or a non-religious affirmation, starting the second half of this year. They’ll be punished should they break new ethical rules, Banking Association chairman Chris Buijink said in an interview in Amsterdam.
Dutch bankers who fail to abide by the new rules may be blacklisted, face fines or suspensions, Buijink, 59, said.
If it works for the Dutch…
Caribbean calling? Don’t call back
NEW YORK If you get an unexpected missed call from a Caribbean number, don’t call back. It could be a hoax – and it could cost you. An oldie but goodie called the “one-ring scam” is gaining momentum again and leaving people with fraudulent charges.
As independent analyst Richi Jennings points out, the scam takes advantage of a part of the North American Numbering Plan that gives three-digit area codes to certain Caribbean countries. People can connect to these numbers from U.S. phones that don’t have international calling plans even though they are actually “premium rate” numbers.
In the one-ring scam, a robocaller lets a call ring just once before hanging up to maximize the chance of creating a missed call without a person picking up. If someone does pick up, the robocaller disconnects, and there is less of a chance that person will be drawn into the scam and call back.
Area codes to watch out for:
* 268 - Antigua and Barbuda
* 809 - the Dominican Republic
* 876 - Jamaica
* 284 - the British Virgin Islands
* 473 - Grenada
The Associated Press and Bloomberg News contributed.