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October 4, 2012

Facebook finally crosses the 1 billion mark

The leading social network announces that it officially has more than 1 billion monthly active users.

By Tineka Smith

Facebook’s 1 billion mark only includes real accounts that have monthly activity. Currently 1 in 7 people on the planet are actively using Facebook, according to NBC.

Facebook founder

"This morning, there are more than one billion people using Facebook actively each month," said Mark Zuckerburg in a personal statement. "Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life. I am committed to working every day to make Facebook better for you, and hopefully together one day we will be able to connect the rest of the world too."

The network has seen over 1.13 trillion likes and 140 billion friend connections since its launch in February 2009.

The median age of a Facebook user now is 22 with the top five countries amongst users being Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States.

The social network also boasts more than 600M mobile users.

Facebook began in a Harvard dorm room in 2004 and later allowed high schools students to join in 2005, followed by the general public in 2006.

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The social network reached a staggering 25 million users in just two short years and the number has been steadily increasing since.

Facebook was soon the downfall of other popular social sites at the time, like Myspace which is still struggling to gain back the tens of millions it loss after Facebook.

The company’s milestone comes in the wake of jumping several investigation hurdles.

Facebook recently had a follow up audit after Irelands Office of Data protection announced an investigation into the social network’s privacy practices.

The DPC announced last month that Facebook had complied with most of their recommendations and had stopped their facial recognition feature all altogether.

The company was advised again, however, to tighten its privacy guidelines.

In October 2011, the DPC said complaints had been made about Facebook holding data that was supposedly deleted by users.

Accusations were also made that Facebook was creating shawdow profiles of people who did not have a Facebook account.

However, personal member data used by Facebook for targeted advertsing was deemed legitimate in December 2011.

The social network was also investigated by the Federal Trade Comission and Office of Fair Trading after announcing its plan to acquire Instagram in April this year.

The FTC and OFT feared that Facebook could monopolise photo uploads.

"From the evidence we received it didn’t suggest that the parties would have the interest to pursue that (monopolisation) as a strategy," an OFT spokesperson told CBR.

The OFT said that a main concern was to ensure that limits would not be placed on people uploading Instagram photos to other social networks.

In a statement about the Instagram purchase, Mark Zuckerberg said that it was an "important milestone for Facebook" as it was the first acquisition that had a product with a large amount of users.

Facebook’s move to acquire Instagram showed a push for the company to strengthen its mobile platform.

Facebook mobile

More than half of Facebook’s users access the site predominatly through mobile and the company has been feeling pressure from investors to offer a strong mobile ad platform.

Zuckerberg recently announced that Facebook will be changing even more to focus on mobile development. The social network founder said HTML5 was the reason the company’s mobile app has not been that strong.

"It is really clear from the stats and my own personal intuition that a lot of energy in the ecosystem is going to mobile, not desktop," he told tech blogger and investor Michael Arrington at TechCrunch’s Disrupt conference in San Francisco.

Zuckerberg said that Facebook had "burned" two years by working on HTML5 and not native mobile apps.

Zuckerberg believes the recent iOS change is a win for Facebook, with people doubling the amount of stories they take in on their news feeds compared to the old application.

"Now we are a mobile company and all the code is being written in mobile," he added. "We will make more money on mobile than we make on desktop."

Please follow this author on Twitter @Tineka_S or comment below.

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