News in Short: Canadians don’t like e-bills, Facebook CEO aims for 1 billion users


Canadians prefer to read bills on paper, pay online

Canadians appear to be comfortable with paying bills online, but still prefer to read the financial statements of those bills in good old fashioned ink and paper. Why? Because most consumers seem to expect disagreements or mistakes with their bills, and paper bills hold better has recorded evidence. Another reason was physical statements were better reminders to pay bills than online statements.

A business PhD student’s thesis on the concept of a “paperless society” examined more than 800 Canadians, and found that 90% still received paper statements, printed online statements, and recorded key numbers.

The youngest group category, 18-24, keeps less records than others, but this is due to less volume of incoming bills and financial responsibility. Despite paper bills, however, Canadians still do use online banking: 67%, compared to less than 45% for Americans and Australians. Green activists will be disappointed that e-statements have stagnated: going paperless on financial statements alone would reduce typical household paper consumption by over 50 pounds annually.

Mark Zuckerberg confidently anticipates 1 billion users

He won’t say when, but the young CEO of Facebook says it’s “almost guaranteed.” Facebook has a lockdown as the main social networking site in many prominent countries, including Canada, the U.S., the U.K., and the Middle East. It lags in a couple of giant markets, namely Russia and many parts of Asia such as China and Japane—but if it can successfully tackle these regions, then Mark is right: 1 billion users isn’t just possible, it’s almost guaranteed.

As a fun side note, back in 2006, when there was speculation that Google, Viacom, or other big sites might buy out Facebook, commenters crudely remarked how foolish it would be for any of the companies to acquire the social network.

One particular post on a website’s article, which accurately represents sentiments at the time, reads, “facebook is definitely not worth 1 billion imo. If Yahoo pays that, I will laugh. Facebook is on the decline.” Four years later, even the lowest estimations put Facebook’s net value at well over 11 billion, and there is no decline, or even stagnation, in sight.