Facebook Serving a Billion Users

Facebook users illustration

If Facebook were a country, it would the third largest, behind China and India. In July of 2010, Facebook has reached its 500 million user. Less than a couple of years later, on September 2012, the newly-public company has past a new milestone: a billion users.

Facebook Inc. announced that it had topped 1 billion active users, meaning users who visited the site within a month. Although a few companies can claim to have had more than a billion users, Facebook is the first social network to hit that number.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive and founder, made the announcement in a blog post on the company's website.

Facebook shared some information about how its billion users have been doing on the site. Users have used the Like button more than 1 trillion times since it was first introduced in February 2009. There have been more than 140 billion friend connections. And since the end of the year 2005, about 230 billion photos have been uploaded to the site.

The total population of the globe is estimated to be 7 billion people, and roughly about 14 percent of the world's population uses Facebook. According to Facebook, a majority of those users, or about 60 percent (600 million) users access the social network through a mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets.

Although the social network will undoubtedly keep growing and has managed to get more than 40 percent of the total internet population (2.3 billion) in less than a decade, its growth will not be as fast as it used to be. Facebook, which has endured bruising months in the stock market since its initial public offering, has acknowledged that a slowdown in new-user acquisition is inevitable as its worldwide reach expands.

"Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life," Zuckerberg said in his blog post.

Zuckerberg called the moment as an historic milestone: connecting about one in seven people on the planet across both the developed and developing world.

Facebook's number of users is larger than other social media services such as Twitter, which has 140 million monthly active users, Google+, which has 100 million monthly active users, and YouTube, which has 800 million monthly active users. Although with a billion at hand, the competition in getting heavier as each contenders advance with their own technology, fans and loaded features that further distinguish them from one another.

In August 2013, Facebook is setting its eye on its next billion users - even if they don't have internet access yet. An initiative to bring internet access to the "next five billion" people has been launched by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg by partnering Facebook with Nokia, Qualcomm, Samsung, Ericsson and others to bring web access to the five billion people, primarily in developing countries, that don't own smartphones or have access to affordable connectivity.