Facebook now has more than one billion people using it every month, the company has said.The passing of the milestone was announced by founder Mark Zuckerberg on US television on Thursday.
The company said that those billion users were to date responsible for 1.13 trillion “likes”, 219 billion photos and 17 billion location check-ins.The site, which was launched in 2004, is now looking towards emerging markets to build its user base further.
“If you’re reading this: thank you for giving me and my little team the honor of serving you,” Mr Zuckerberg wrote in a status update.
“Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life”
Statistics released to coincide with the announcement revealed there were now 600 million users accessing the site via a mobile device – up 48 million from 552 million in June this year.Since its early beginnings at Harvard University, Facebook users have befriended each other 140.3 billion times
In Africa, Facebook has targeted the use of basic phones – known widely as “feature phones” – which are unable to display the full-featured site, but instead can use specially created variations of the network.
Specifically, a project called Facebook for Every Phone, which was launched following the company’s acquisition of feature-phone specialists Snaptu, is central to its growth strategy in the region.
“Facebook is doing very well in Africa,” said Erik Hersman, a Kenyan-based blogger.
“You even see people using it in the rural areas – often people will ask for a phone with Facebook on it, not caring/knowing about the internet at all.”
There are considerable monetisation opportunities too. The continent has, at a pace far outstripping the west, adopted mobile payment systems in huge numbers – more than 15 million in Kenya alone.
In developed markets, one path to better engagement with users could be through new features that make use of Facebook’s vast quantities of personal data about each of its members.