Facebook says 1 billion use the service each month
Previous regulatory filings suggest that 1 billion includes a significant percentage of duplicate and fake accounts
IDG News Service - More than 1 billion people now use Facebook each month, almost one-seventh of the world's population, the company announced Thursday.
The company said it passed the milestone on Sept. 14, but only revealed the figure Thursday.
The number of Facebook users has doubled in a little over two years: it reached 500 million monthly active users in July 2010, the company said.
Although Facebook claimed 1 billion "people" were active on the site, user growth would have had to more than double since the last quarter if the figure excluded the duplicate and fake accounts that have plagued the company in recent quarters.
On June 30, the company had 955 million active monthly users, up from 901 million three months earlier, according to a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. But only 872 million of those belonged to real people: the remaining 83 million, or 8.7 percent of the user base, were duplicate accounts, undesirable accounts used by spammers, or misclassified accounts that really belonged to businesses, according to Facebook's 10-Q filing for the second quarter.
Getting from 872 million real users to 1 billion in 10 weeks would imply a growth rate more than double any quarter in the last two years. Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for clarification of the nature of the accounts counted.
Meanwhile, the new users of the service are getting younger. When Facebook reached half a billion users, the average new user was 23; now, the average user is 22, the company said Thursday.
Some things haven't changed in that time: The top five countries from where users joined the service still include Facebook's home territory, the U.S., along with India, Indonesia, Mexico and Brazil, where Google's first attempt at social networking, Orkut, is also popular.
That list also includes four of the world's five most populous countries (Mexico ranks 11th, according to the CIA World Fact Book), but the most populous country, China, is not a major source of Facebook users because the site is officially banned there.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg described the experience of connecting 1 billion people as "by far the thing I am most proud of in my life" in a note posted to the site.
He's counting on the first billion users to spread the word to achieve his next goal: "Together one day we will be able to connect the rest of the world too."
Peter Sayer covers open source software, European intellectual property legislation and general technology breaking news for IDG News Service. Send comments and news tips to Peter at email@example.com.
- Social Media in Technology: A Unified Strategy for Success Find out how social media is sparking a new era of customer and industry-understanding in technology enterprises and how industry leaders are overcoming...
- Enable secure remote access to 3D data without sacrificing visual perfomance Design and manufacturing companies must adapt quickly to the demands of an increasingly global and competitive economy. To speed time to market for...
- The Truth About Virtual Computing for CAD If you're a user of graphics-intensive software such as 3D modeling, simulation and analysis, and visualization, you might be skeptical about moving to...
- Virtually Delivered High Performance 3D Graphics "A picture is worth a thousand words." That old phrase is as true today as it ever was. Pictures (i.e., those with heavy...
- What should I look for in a Next Generation Firewall? SANS Provides Guidance With so many vendors claiming to have a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), it can be difficult to tell what makes each one different....
- Why Are Customers Really Deploying an NGFW? It seems every IT Security expert is talking about the NGFW, but what are people really doing? This webcast covers 5 real-world customer... All Social Media White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!