It’s hard to believe that there could be a Web service so popular, that people are shocked to find out when someone isn’t on it, but that’s what Facebook has become. Some people I know who don’t use a computer all too often are on it, and I’ve heard many people over the years say they’d never join it – or just have no interest – and ultimately end up caving in. I was one of those from the latter camp. Oh, the pull that blue and white fixed-width giant can have.
Last week, Facebook announced that it had a staggering 1 billion active users on the site – and before you say, “The bots, the bots!”, note that I said “active”. Given the entire world has 7 billion people inhabiting it, and a good chunk live in areas where computer access is a luxury, for any service to have 1 billion active users is nothing short of mind-blowing.
To see how the service got to this point, CNET’s Ben Parr crunched some numbers. Within the service’s first 10 months, it accrued 1 million users – and bear in mind, this was 2004, when social networking wasn’t at a high. After 34 months, the number sat at 12 million. After 52 months? 100 million. Then things really began to skyrocket. 200 million in April 2009, 400 million in February 2010, and 750 million in July 2011. The 1 billion mark was reached just this month.
Zuck might not have had the most unique idea on the planet, but when he’s ultimately drawn over a billion people to use his service, there’s no denying that his execution was flawless. Just how much further will things go? We’re bound to run out of people who can or want to use Facebook eventually – but can we make it 2 billion?