When 20-year-old Mark Zuckerberg first created “TheFacebook” in 2004, the social network’s membership was restricted to Harvard students, which naturally limited the maximum number of users. Eight years, several lawsuits, one controversial hit Hollywood movie, and one not-so-great IPO later, there are no less than one billion people worldwide that live and breathe Facebook.
That is according to the company’s latest stats, which claim that one out of seven people across the world not only have an active Facebook account, but accessed it at least once during the month leading up to September 14.
Not only is that number crazy impressive, but it once again confirms a growing trend for the most popular social networking service in the world. Facebook had 845 million monthly active users back in December 2011 and 955 million as of June 30 this year, so anyone saying Zuck’s service is bound to go the way of MySpace might want to rethink that view.
In an exclusive interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Zuckerberg talked again about the future of Facebook, which will be focused on mobile. “The big thing is obviously going to be mobile” he said, adding that “there are 5 billion people in the world who have phones” and that “there are actually already 600 million people using Facebook on phones.”
That’s another remarkable progress for Facebook, which had 425 million monthly active mobile users in February 2012 and 543 million as of June 30. We’re again talking about active users, meaning people that access their accounts at least once a month.
Of course, among the 600 million Facebook mobile users, there are a lot of people that access the website from cellphones and tablets, but also on PCs. We know that in December 2011 13.4% of the number of total users accessed Facebook strictly through mobile. While we haven’t heard a percentage this time around, we’re betting mobile now holds a share of over 15%.
With that in mind, it was only natural for speculations about a Facebook-branded phone to resurface, although weirdly that didn’t come up in Bloomberg’s talk with Zuckerberg. The billionaire only said that “as more phones become smartphones, it’s just this massive opportunity”, but unfortunately wasn’t questioned about how exactly is he planning to take advantage of it. Zuckerberg did deny a few weeks back that he’s thinking of hardware manufacturing, but you never know…
Getting back to the numbers for one more second, we have to note some other crazy impressive stats, including the over 1.13 trillion likes since February 2009, the 140 billion friend connections, 219 billion photos uploaded, and 17 billion location-tagged posts. The median age of Facebook users has decreased from 26 in 2008 to 22 right now, while the leading countries connected to the hottest social network have been the same for a few years now (Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States, in alphabetical order).
Some of these numbers can be contested, starting with the 1 billion active accounts. We know very well that there are a lot of users who have multiple accounts (I myself have two), while the number of fake users has also grown greatly recently. Still, 1 billion?!? Dayum!