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Facebook breaks a billion

Facebook has finally reached the dizzy heights of having over a billion active members, making it the first social network to do so. Its nearest rival Twitter, has just over half that number – showing the impressive feat Facebook has achieved.

Founder of the site, Mark Zuckerburg made the announcement, stating that “Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life.” His company released some stats as part of the news, some of them including (via The Telegraph) the fact that Facebook members have made over 140 billion friend connections, clicked the like button over 1.13 trillion times and have uploaded just under 220 billion photos of themselves.

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Thumbs up for a new member count record, but can Facebook keep it up?

Ultimately, Zuckerburg said, the plan was to connect the entire world via Facebook. This will mean expanding beyond hotspot countries like the US and UK, where new signups are rare. Even new developments like Brazil will eventually become saturated with members, leading to the social network needing to branch out even further. With the growth of internet enabled phones in Africa, countries within that continent represent one of the next big challenges for Facebook adoption.

Despite its continuing growth in user numbers however, financially Facebook hasn’t fared so well. Since its initial flotation on the stock market back in May, its price has slowly fallen, drastically reducing its pre-public stock offering valuation of over $50 billion (£31 billion).

KitGuru Says: The current fear for stock holders and analyst is whether Facebook will ultimately be able to monetise this billion members. With new competition from a revamped Myspace and Kim Dotcom’s musical service Megabox, do you think we’ll still be talking about Facebook in a few years time.

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