Blog: Facebook reaches 1 billion user mark

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One out of seven people in the world use Facebook.

Just eight years after the dorm-room project launched, Facebook announced, on Oct. 4, that the social network has reached 1 billion active users.

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, used his personal status to reach out and thank Facebook users:

This morning, there are more than one billion people using Facebook actively each month.

If you’re reading this: thank you for giving me and my little team the honor of serving you.

Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life.

In July 2010 Facebook hit 500 million users, and membership doubled in just over two years. The average user joining the week of the one-billion milestone is about 22 years old, is more than 50 percent likely to be a mobile user and is probably from Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico or the United States.

So now 1 billion people are busy connecting. Facebook released a video called “The Things That Connect Us” as part of an advertising campaign to encourage reflection on the everyday things people use to get together and keep in touch. After the video begins with an odd analogy to chairs (“Chairs are for people, and that is why chairs are like Facebook”), it talks about doorbells, planes and bridges that help us get together and connect. Is Facebook replacing our doorbells and bridges and our face-to-face interactions? One tweeter, @notzuckerberg, thinks so.

One billion people on Facebook. That’s 1 out of every 7 humans. The other 6 are productive people that have meaningful friendships. For now.

Or perhaps Facebook is facilitating otherwise impossible or forgotten relationships and interactions. Since the launch of Facebook, 140.3 billion friend connections have been made. About 81 percent of its monthly active users are outside of the U.S. and Canada. The Wall Street Journal published an infographic explaining that if Facebook were a country, it would be the third-largest nation according to population. Another tweeter, @erinshrode,  suggested we use Facebook, open to anyone over 13 years old with an email address, for good.

There are now 1 billion Facebook users. One in seven people on earth. All connected. How can we harness that power to affect global change?

But are we really using Facebook for making a difference? Or is it just an avenue for avoiding our to-do lists? Either way, a shout out to Facebook for its video reminding us that we’re not alone because we have it.

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