Facebook Hits a Major Milestone: 1 Billion Active Monthly Users

Facebook Hits a Major Milestone: 1 Billion Active Monthly UsersFacebook (FB) just keeps on getting bigger.

The leading social networking website operator revealed on Thursday that it now has more than a billion active monthly users.

It's a beefy milestone. Facebook only had 955 million active monthly users as of the end of June.

"I am committed to working every day to make Facebook better for you," CEO Mark Zuckerberg writes. "Hopefully together one day we will be able to connect the rest of the world too."

Exodus? What Exodus?

Yes, Facebook is growing. But it's easy to believe otherwise.

The stock still trades sharply below its May IPO price of $38. Some reports earlier this year have indicated a slowdown in the growth of U.S. users -- -- if not an outright decline. (Zuckerberg isn't breaking down its billion users by region.)

Anecdotally, everyone knows people who have sworn off Facebook. In fact, it may well be you who deleted your Facebook account. However, weren't there also people doing that in 2011? 2010? 2009?
Get the picture? The critical consensus last year was that Netflix (NFLX) would be losing subscribers by the truckload after its poorly received summertime price hike. Well? Netflix now has a record 30 million accounts worldwide.

In the end, numbers don't lie. Even if Facebook is losing stateside users -- and we don't know that for sure -- the site is attracting far more people than it's losing on a worldwide basis.

The Long Road Back for the Stock

Facebook's path back to $38 won't be as easy as the road to a billion active Facebookers was. In retrospect, Facebook's only real crime was that it went public at a lofty $104 billion valuation. The company itself is still growing, and that was evident when it reported its first quarterly report as a public company. It's evident again with Zuckerberg's announcement on Thursday.
It has been making recent inroads in its monetization process, most recently by improving its ad targeting and the upcoming roll-out of Facebook Gifts, which allows users to send physical goods to their friends.

Cynics will argue that Facebook's popularity may not last forever. That is true, but we can no longer compare Facebook to fallen social networking pioneers Friendster and MySpace. After all, Facebook now has nearly 10 times as many users as MySpace had at its peak. More importantly, there are now more than 100 billion established friendship connections on Facebook, and that's something that will be hard to duplicate elsewhere.

Facebook isn't going away anytime soon, and there are now at least a billion people that are happy to hear that.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does not own shares in any of the stocks in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Facebook and Netflix. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Netflix and Facebook and creating a bear put ladder position in Netflix.

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Five years ago Skype was in its infancy, the Apple App Store was still a year away from opening, and Facebook was on no one's radar outside of college students.

And keep in mind that even today Facebook has almost no penetration in hugely populated markets like China and India where local regulation impedes adoption. As the ability erodes to forcibly keep their citizens from consuming a product that is in demand, growth will only continue.

Then changes in the way we communicate have been breathtaking, and social networking is at the heart of that transition. Being connected to the rest of humanity is a basic human desire. A recent study discovered that the "degrees of separation" of the human population had remained steady at about 6 for decades, until recently. For Facebook users, it has not declined to 5 1/2. The ability to shrink the world in such a fashion is a true game changer with implications far beyond a list of connections.

To be sure, new innovators will continue to crop up trying to build a better mousetrap. The next 5 years is sure to experience as much disruption in the communications market as has the last 5. But the notion that there is something inherently evil about Facebook or its customers is a reactionary response of frustration from those who realize they are societies laggards, unable to keep pace with the change occurring around them, and perpetually falling further and further behind the rest of the world.

October 07 2012 at 11:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


October 05 2012 at 2:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


October 05 2012 at 2:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


October 05 2012 at 2:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


October 05 2012 at 2:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hahaha,...again big deal.
Compared to Myspace / etc.,...just another fad.
And the problem is, that people jump on the " newest bandwagon " for no reason,...and because they think they will " lose " out on something, because someone else " done " it.
Sad,...I dont care to have any kind of stupid social membership,..because I dont see any real benefit from it. From getting your identity stolen, and who cares what someone else is doing every minute of the day, really ?? Along with now we the " people of society " now have to worry about IDIOTS who DRIVE AND TEXT / CHECK UPDATES from sites like FB, because they " just cant wait to where they are going !!!! " All this crap technology has become MORE of a hazard to everyday activities, from driving down the road / work / etc.
You want to know something,...pick up the phone,...TALK to someone,...if you need to send pics,..use email,...why submit yourself to the crap just to be in the crowd of what ??
ALSO,...from personal experience of people who are on FB ,....you still DONT have any kind of contact with the co. for problems that arise,.....how funny is that ?? You tell me FB cant afford an 800 # to fix issues from everything from identity theft, to site issues, that they are too CHEAP, or CARE about their members, that they cant provide an avenue for people to contact them for a problem??
REALLY ??? ...sounds like a PERSONAL / FOR PROFIT ONLY issue,...rather than " trying to connect the World,...wonder at who`s expense??
Seems like Zucker-nuts doesnt care about whether you are happy with identity theft from his site, or able to " log on ", he only cares about his PROFIT.
From a punk who started this co. from a " dorm room ", just to communicate, which I`m not dissing capitalism,..but obviously he ( Zucker-nuts ) got a BIG head pretty quick,...when he doesnt have an avenue to contact his co. from problems that arise. WHY,..do you have to go through " friends ", that FB picks for you, and have to respond, to prove who you are to get a problem solved ???
Sounds pretty " fishy " to me. Why isnt there a " direct " form of any type of communication to contact the Co. for problems ? Why the need to go through a stupid " friends list " to prove who you are ?? Majority of your " friends " really dont know who the hell YOU are !! All they do is click " Add a friend " because someone suggested them to do so, because of a so called " contact " of someones` , who knows what / where /etc.
My opinion , all these sites dont care about your well-being,..just how much money they can make, buy interrupting your life with more damn ADS.
Remember when the internet was really FREE ?? !! You could get wiring diagrams / schematics / how to fix anything for FREE !!
Now,...all the BS search sites, have nothing to look for,...but for some clown to want to sell you a BOOK , on how to fix the things you could get for free just 15 yrs ago on the web.
Seems we are going backwards in society, NOT forward.

October 05 2012 at 5:41 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to A.G. SESKIS's comment

I'd say your illiteracy is a prime example of going backward in society........maybe a couple steps back in the evolution process, in fact!

October 07 2012 at 11:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Fred Frak

Has there ever been a more dishonest. tech company than Facebook, or a bigger marketing scam? I don't think so.

A billion users? Yes, at least 25% of which are corporations and businesses of all sizes. And another 20% which are fake, or zombie users. Some "friends" these are. Do you "like" our latest prescription medication? Thank you, we will tell all your "friends" you "like" Zoloft. Zuckerberg must be using the Mitt Romney definition of corporations as people. Zuckface is like the Bernie Madoff of tech. He would have thrown his grandmother under the bus if it meant hot chicks in college thought he was cool.

Gee, just imagine: for FREE, you get to participate in a huge, AOL 2.0, walled-garden, that stifles the free flow of information and is like a repressive, dishonest country which ruthlessly spies on its citizens, then tells them it is for their own good and the betterment of their sunny land. Facebook is a dishonest, privacy-hating, data-mining parasite of a firm.

I hope this company tanks, and all of its "friends" wake up and leave "Facebookistan" for good. There has never been a bigger set of tools for hucksters, liars, scammers, and cheaters than what the web has turned into. Some of them do it legally.

October 04 2012 at 8:53 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

your so true about so many people using facebook no life it great for finding lost friends getting back in touch with also all the dumb adds people put here i am ther about once or twice a week here no more lol hahaha

October 04 2012 at 6:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How sad is this? One billion peple without a life.

October 04 2012 at 4:34 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

what a bs number...simple to manipulate ...as zuckerburg knows and does

October 04 2012 at 4:20 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply