Facebook rules the social networking world with 1 billion users

Facebook on Thursday announced that it now has more than 1 billion monthly active users, more than any other social network in the world. The social network also said that more than 600 million users are now accessing Facebook from their mobile devices.

In comparison, Twitter’s latest official update pegs it at 140 million active users (some estimate there are some 500 million total users), while would-be Facebook rival Google+ has 100 million monthly active users and 400 million signups.

Mark Zuckerberg celebrates Facebook’s latest milestone.

Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the milestone on his Facebook profile on Thursday morning, saying: “This morning, there are more than one billion people using Facebook actively each month. 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.”

In a fact sheet released to mark the occasion, Facebook detailed that it reached 1 billion monthly active users on September 14 at 12:45 p.m. PT. The top five countries where people connected from at the time the milestone was reached were Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States.

Facebook was launched in 2004, and by 2006, it had 23 million users. That number doubled by 2007, and again in 2008, when it reached 100 million users. By 2010, Facebook hit 500 million users, doubling that number two years later. Currently, Facebook says the average age of its users is around 22 years old, down from 26 in 2008.

Facebook says that more than 219 billion photos were uploaded on the social network, with some 140 billion friend connections. With people putting so much of their personal life on the social network, Facebook’s growth has not been without privacy blunders, and legislators in Europe are still investigating Facebook’s data mining techniques.

Facebook still has challenges ahead, though. Local social networks in China and Russia have a foothold on their market and Facebook has been slow to make forays in those countries. Then there is the financial aspect: Facebook had a shaky initial public offering earlier this year, and it is still looking at ways to make display advertisements for the mobile users who represent 60 percent of the social network’s monthly traffic.

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