Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced via a status update that his popular social networking site now has more than 1 billion active users visiting the site each month. This doubles the milestone of 500 million that the site hit in July 2010 (with 100 million users in August 2008). With this latest milestone, Facebook now attracts nearly half of the world’s Internet user population, which is estimated by the International Telecommunications Union to be at around 2.5 billion. Essentially, what this means is that 1 out of every 7 people on the planet are on Facebook, and it’s important to note that these are active users, not simply sign-ups.
According to a recent survey, Facebook is by far the most used platform among social media professionals, with 85 percent of the 400 surveyed citing Facebook as their primary social channel over other platforms. In the same survey, only 10 percent relied primarily on Twitter to get their message out and 2 percent on Google+. Many small businesses have been able to leverage Facebook exposure quite effectively, attracting “Likes” and then using Facebook to keep in touch with both current and potential customers.
Interestingly, the Facebook community has burgeoned into a global community, with 81 percent of users living outside the U.S. and Canada (many users are from Brazil, India, Indonesia, and Mexico). Even Vatican City is reported to have 20 users. Growing mobile access has also contributed to this overall increase in usage, with Facebook now at 600 million mobile users. And the median age seems to be getting younger, with the average user being 22 today (the median age was 23 in 2010 and 26 in 2007 to 2008).
Much of Facebook’s success is attributed to inevitable growth of connections via “friending.” In fact, a user who signed up 2 years ago is expected to have an average of 305 friends, with those who signed up in 2005 having on average 600 friends.
Johnston, Frances. “1 Billion Users Now on Facebook” Technology.gather.com. 10/4/12.
Ortutay, Barbara. “Facebook Now Home to 1 Billion Monthly Users” Boston.com. 10/4/12.
Shaughnessy, Haydn. “Facebook’s 1 Billion Users: Why the Sky Is Still the Limit” Forbes. 10/4/12.