Facebook has announced that it hit 1 billion active monthly users on September 14 at 12:45 p.m. Pacific time. To put that figure in perspective, one billion people is roughly one-seventh of the world's population.
In The New York Times, Nick Bilton reported, "Facebook shared some information on what its billion users have been doing on the site. People have used the 'Like' button more than 1.1 trillion times since it was added in February 2009. There have been more than 140 billion friend connections. And since the fall of 2005, nearly 220 billion photos have been uploaded to the site. Facebook also said it has 600 million mobile users."
In an interview with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg relived the moment when the social network reached the milestone: "Well, just everyone came together and counted down. Then we all went back to work. We have this ethos where we want to be a culture of builders, right?" He added, "We don’t want to overly celebrate any particular milestone, so what we do is we have hackathons. We have themed hackathons for different things. We’re having a hackathon to celebrate this when we announce it publicly, and the theme is going to be the next billion. So people will be thinking of ideas and working on prototypes and things that we’ll need to do to help connect the next billion people, which I think is pretty cool."
TechWorld's Peter Sayer noted, "Although Facebook claimed 1 billion "people" were active on the site, user growth would have had to more than double since the last quarter if the figure excluded the duplicate and fake accounts that have plagued the company in recent quarters."
"The No. 1 social network has faced a rough road since its May initial public offering," observed Reuters reporters Liana B. Baker and Jennifer Saba. "Investors and analysts have fretted over a sharp slowdown in revenue growth and questioned how Facebook will make money from users as people access its site on mobile devices. Facebook shares have lost more than 40 percent of their value since the stock debuted at $38."