Half a billion people. All connected by the social networking site that is Facebook.
To put that into perspective, that’s almost two times the population of the United States. That means only China and India have larger populations than Facebook. That’s almost a third of the population in the world that has internet access.
Simply put, that’s amazing.
On Wednesday, July 22, Mark Zuckerberg announced passing the milestone on a blog post. To commemorate, Facebook is now starting up Facebook Stories, a compilation of stories on the impact of Facebook on people’s lives. Along with that, there are millions of users on social media platforms like https://socialized.me/free-instagram-followers/ that completely changed the social media presence of people around the globe.
It’s a bit scary to think about how fast the site is growing. Facebook reached its first million users in December 2004, it’s fiftieth in October 2007, its three hundredth in September 2009, and of course, it’s five-hundredths just yesterday. Just to show the sheer size that Facebook represents, 115 million friendships are confirmed, 400 000 events are created, and almost a million new accounts are made, all daily.
This milestone is just a small part that signifies how far Facebook has gone. From its beginnings in 2004 as a site for students from a few universities in the United States, it has become so much more. Today, over 70% of the users on Facebook are from outside the United States.
One has to pose the question, how on Earth did Facebook get so popular? What happened to other social networking sites, such as MySpace?
The biggest reason why Facebook’s scope is so large is because of its ability to market itself and spread. It’s not shy about asking you to branch out to friends, with tools such as the Friend Finder. Even with a small starting population, the ease in which Facebook allows people to invite others allows it to grow at an exceptionally fast rate.
Once a user is registered, Facebook doesn’t stop there. A social networking site is only successful if its users are busy and bustling, so Facebook has to extend the ‘experience’. This is the second part of why Facebook is so popular, as it has revolutionized the way people connect. You don’t only connect by adding someone as your friend, but interacting with them through applications and events. With the new News Feed, it allows a person to know what is happening with his or her friends, which is a lure that keeps people checking Facebook regularly.
Finally, the reason why Facebook will continue to be popular is that simply put, it has everyone. It has the largest user population by far, and chances are that your friends are mostly, if not all, on Facebook. This makes Facebook the top choice for new invitees, and also keeps registered users loyal.
However, this is not to say that Facebook can just sit back and relax from this point on. User population aside, Facebook has its work cut out in aspects such as its image and user satisfaction.
According to a study done by the University of Michigan, Facebook had a rating of 64/100 for user satisfaction, putting it alongside airline and cable companies in the bottom five percent. This by itself is a warning sign and should force Facebook into seriously rethinking its support for its users. One popular complaint with Facebook has been its complicated and often frustrating process to completely delete one’s account, as well as its security options which are far from straightforward.
This would lead to the topic of security on Facebook. Obviously, if you are to buy into the idea of social networking, you can’t just hide your account behind a wall and become a hermit. However, one has to draw the line somewhere. Facebook’s security settings may be a bit extreme, to the point where complete strangers can see one’s profile from Google searches, even if it is attempting to help you open up to others.
With that said, Facebook is not about to fall apart any time soon. Given its growth stats, it’s safe to say that the decline of Facebook is far on the horizon. Facebook will continue to experience success in the near future, but there is certainly room for improvement.
Perhaps it would be fitting to let the creator, Zuckerberg have the final statement. According to USA Today, he said this about the path to a billion users, “Whether we’re 500 million or a billion or more, it’s still all about the site is personal and relevant for every individual. We really still think of ourselves as at the beginning of the journey.”