Facebook tops 1 billion users
NEW YORK — More than a billion people now log into Facebook each month to check up on old friends, tag photos of new ones and post about politics, religion, cats or what their kids are doing.
That's double the 500 million it hit in July 2010 — what now seems like a lifetime but was a little more than two years ago. August 2008 marked another milestone, 100 million.
The latest milestone also amounts to nearly half of the world's roughly 2.5 billion Internet users, as measured by the International Telecommunications Union.
So who are these people?
Most of them — 81 percent — live outside of the U.S. and Canada. Many of them log in on mobile devices rather than personal computers, and the company now has 600 million mobile users.
The people joining now are young, with a median age of 22. It was 23 in 2010 and 26 in 2008 and 2007. Most of them are from Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States. They are unlikely to be from China, the world's most populous country and home to its largest Internet population. And millions of them are not actual people. Facebook acknowledged in August that 8.7 percent of its then-955 million users may be duplicate or false accounts. At that rate, as many as 87 million accounts are fake.
As expected, the longer users are on Facebook, the more “friends” they have on the site. A user who signed up two years ago has an average of 305 friends. Someone who signed up in January 2006, when Facebook had 25 million users, now has nearly 600 friends, on average.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg marked the milestone on his Facebook page, as he has in the past when the site's users hit nice round numbers.
“If you're reading this: thank you for giving me and my little team the honor of serving you,” he wrote. “Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life.”
But he acknowledged in a “Today” show interview that the company is going through a difficult patch.
“We're in a tough cycle now and that doesn't help morale, but people are focused on what they're building,” he told Matt Lauer during the interview.
The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company's stock never recovered from a botched initial public offering in May, at one point seeing its value slashed in half by shareholders who don't think it's increasing revenue fast enough, especially from its fast-growing mobile user base.
Last month Zuckerberg gave his first interview since Facebook's shaky IPO and since that time he's been working hard to boost confidence among investors, employees and the public.
The 28-year-old executive also continued to reassure that he is the right person to lead Facebook, as some on Wall Street have questioned whether he has the ability to lead a large public company.
“I take this responsibility very seriously,” he said.
Facebook Inc.'s stock slipped 9 cents to $21.74 in morning trading. The shares are off 43 percent from its $38 IPO price.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Groom cited at Farmington wedding reception being filmed for reality TV show
- Starkey: Chryst a miserable failure at Pitt
- Banged-up Steelers can clinch with win over Chiefs
- Car wash explosion, fire injures 2 in McDonald
- Butler County initiative aims to find employment for struggling job-seekers
- Westmoreland County furloughs weights and measurements director
- Sony hack signals new, public front in cyber warfare
- Ex-Penguins defenseman Niskanen still miffed by coaches’ firings
- Warning about cop-killer came moments too late
- IBM’s Watson supercomputing system to be applied to PTSD
- New York farmers lament lost opportunity for gas riches