retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Facebook said that it now has more than one billion active monthly users; it had reached 500 million active monthly users in July 2010.

In the Wall Street Journal story about the milestone, it was reported that "Facebook said it had 600 million mobile users, meaning more than half of the social network's members access the service on phones or other on-the-go devices. There are five billion mobile device users in the world ... To date, people have made 140 billion friend connections on Facebook, the company said. As it matures, Facebook users are getting younger: The median age of a user joining today is about 22, down from 23 for a user who joined at the time the site hit 500 million users."

Of course, there had to be a little rain on this celebratory parade; the Journal also noted that coming not long after an Initial Public Offering (IPO) that has proven to be disappointing, the milestone "raises growth questions anew for the social network and whether it can profit off its giant user base."

While the wisdom behind and the execution of the Facebook IPO certainly can be questioned, the extent of the company's influence is enormous - it has helped to redefine the word "friend" (for better or worse), has connected and reconnected people all over the globe, and has become one of the chief standard bearers for the social media revolution.

And, by population, these active monthly users would make Facebook the third biggest country in the world.

That's an Eye-Opener.
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