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Facebook hits 1billion users

NEW YORK(AFP) – Facebook
said Thursday it now has
more than a billion users,
giving the world’s biggest
social network a major
milestone despite a
disastrous stock market
Co-founder and chief
executive Mark Zuckerberg
made the announcement,
saying the number is
“This morning, there are
more than one billion
people using Facebook
actively each month,” he said
in a statement.
“If you’re reading this: thank
you for giving me and my
little team the honor of
serving you. Helping a billion
people connect is amazing,
humbling and by far the
thing I am most proud of in
my life.”
Interviewed on the NBC
Today show, he called the
number a major
“To be able to come into
work every day and build
things that help a billion
people stay connected with
the people they care about
every month, that’s just
unbelievable,” Zuckerberg
Facebook said it reached
one billion monthly active
users on September 14 at
12:45 pm Pacific time. That
includes 600 million mobile
In its last update in June,
Facebook said it had 955
million users including 543
million using mobile devices.
The California company
launched a hotly anticipated
public offering in May, but
has seen its share price
tumble amid concerns that it
may not be able to grow
revenues as users migrate to
mobile devices.
Facebook shares, which hit
the market at $38 in May,
rose 1.2 percent early
Thursday to $22.06, having
fallen by more than half.
In the NBC interview,
Zuckerberg said the
company was moving
forward despite some rough
“Things go in cycles. We’re
obviously in a tough cycle
now and that doesn’t help
morale, but at the same
time, you know, people here
are focused on the things
that they’re building,” he
“I mean, you get to build
things here that touch a
billion people, which is just
not something that you can
say at almost anywhere else,
so I think that’s really the
thing that motivates people.”
Analysts are divided on
whether Facebook can
leverage its massive user
base for advertising and
other revenues and still
remain loyal to Zuckerberg’s
goal of making it a service to
connect the world.
Trip Chowdhry at Global
Equities Research remains
bearish on Facebook, saying
the company has failed to
come up with a credible
expansion plan.
“OK, one billion users, now
what? How do you monetize
them?” Chowdhry told AFP.
“The problems with
Facebook remain the same.”
But Lou Kerner of the Social
Internet Fund says the
market is underestimating
Facebook’s ability to drive
revenues higher.
“While Facebook continues
to grow its user base,
recently surpassing one
billion active members, the
law of large numbers means
that user growth is slowing,”
he said.
“However, engagement per
user continues to grow
rapidly, and that’s the metric
that will increasingly drive
Since Facebook’s launch,
users have produced over
1.13 trillion “likes,” some 140
billion friend connections
and have uploaded 219
billion photos.
The social network has also
seen 17 billion location-
tagged posts, including
check-ins, and 62.6 million
songs which have been
played 22 billion times.
The median age of the user
is around 22, according to
According to the
independent website Social
Bakers, the largest number
of Facebook users are in the
United States, over 166
million, followed by Brazil
(58 million), India (55
million), Indonesia (47
million) and Mexico (38
Zuckerberg, in an interview
with Bloomberg
Businessweek released
Thursday, said the company
was taking the new
milestone in stride.
“We don’t want to overly
celebrate any particular
milestone, so what we do is
we have hackathons,” he
“So people will be thinking
of ideas and working on
prototypes and things that
we’ll need to do to help
connect the next billion
people, which I think is
pretty cool.”
The growth figures have
been clouded by concerns
about dubious accounts.
Facebook’s own figures show
as many as 83 million may
come from dubious sources
— duplicate accounts, pages
for pets and those designed
to send spam.
Some 8.7 percent of the
accounts may be dodgy, the
company said in its quarterly
filing with the US Securities
and Exchange Commission.

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