Facebook announced today it's reached a major milestone: it now has 2 billion monthly users.
The social network was on the cusp of the double-billion mark for several months, and today CEO Mark Zuckerberg made it official in – what else – a Facebook post.
"As of this morning, the Facebook community is now officially 2 billion people!" he wrote. "We're making progress connecting the world, and now let's bring the world closer together. It's an honor to be on this journey with you."
To put the figure in perspective, Earth's entire population is 7.3 billion. Twitter has 313 million monthly users, while Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, has 700 million. WhatsApp, another Facebook property, counts over 1 billion users on its platform.
And a little factoid dug up by TechRadar Senior Mobile & Buying Guides Editor Matt Swider: If this were 1927, 100% of the world's population would have Facebook.
Getting to the next two billion
Facebook was launched in 2004 and since then it's been on a meteoric rise that not only encompasses 2 billion users around the globe but also different products. These include the aforementioned social and chat platforms as well as the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset and various internet connectivity projects.
Zuckerberg last week announced Facebook has revised its mission statement, centering the company's focus on building community. Whereas before its mission statement had to do with sharing and connecting, it now reads "give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together."
Building community and bringing the world closer together goes further than helping people communicate with one another. Rather, Zuckerberg's vision is for Facebook to be a platform for people to unite around things they care about.
It's a lofty goal, and Facebook is still a company that must make money, which it does largely through advertising dollars. It may be cynical, but by connecting people through various communities, Facebook can also serve advertisements to these groups more readily.
Getting to the next 2 billion users will be a different type of challenge for Facebook. Most of the internet-connected world knows about Facebook already, so the company will have to deliver internet to more remote places with less infrastructure and less robust technology. (This is where Facebook projects like internet beaming drone airplanes come in, by the way.)
Still, it took Facebook five years to go from 1 billion to 2 billion, and the firm is actively developing new ways for users to connect not just on the platform, but the web at large. And with Zuckerberg already stating he wants 5 billion people on Facebook by 2030, the next two may be closer than we think.
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