Officially one billion users on Facebook

Facebook officially announced they have surpassed one billion people using it every month, The feat was announced by Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg last Thursday. The company commented those users were responsible for 1.13 trillion “likes”, 219 billion photos and 17 billion location check-ins.

Zuckerberg, 27 from New York, updated his status last week saying “if you’re reading this: thank you for giving me and my little team the honour of serving you” adding “helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life”.

To coincide with the announcement, statistics revealed that there were now 600 million users accessing the site via a mobile device – up to 48 million from 552 million in June this year and since its early beginnings at Harvard University, Facebook users have befriended each other 140.3 billion times.

Mark Zuckerberg may well have achieved bringing one billion people using the social networking site, but if Facebook is to maintain its overall value, sustained growth is crucial and investors will expect the company to look at ways to make more from the users it already has as well as targeting new users in new areas of the world where it doesn’t dominate. The service is by far the biggest network in the world but there are key areas such as China and Russia where local competitors still remain the site of choice.

Plans to dominate the social networking scenes in China and Russia began last month when Mark Zuckerberg visited Moscow, where he met with the Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. The public-relations exercise was designed to unsettle VKontakte – a network that boasts in excess of 300 million members, compared to Facebook’s seven million in the company.

The company have also announced other trips that include China, were planned. They said they have been busy “watching and learning” from other internet firms such Google, which was launched in China in 2005 and faced fierce criticism when it agreed to allow censorship of search results, however it changed its stance and now directs all of its traffic through its Hong-Kong based site.

For Facebook to succeed in China it would need to learn from mistakes made by Google, and unseat firms like RenRen, who have more than 30 million users, and possibly the Twitter-like service Sina Weibo who hosts 300 million users.

It will only be a matter of time before Facebook takes over these two areas and becomes the biggest, top grossing company in the world. However, many experts warn that they are so high profile they could end up being a whipping boy if they’re not careful.

By Claire Gard

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