Facebook Reaches 600 Million Users

Facebook, which only a couple of days ago was valued at $50bn (which seems obscene really) has now reached 600 million users worldwide.  In fact this website is now so popular that some people are saying ridiculous things about it.  Technology Blogger Paul Thurrott recently said on his podcast "I'm tired of Luddites and hold-outs. You need to be on Facebook, now. If you're not, you do not exist."

This is a frankly ridiculous statement, that because a lot of people find Facebook interesting that everyone else must jump on board the bandwagon or shut up complaining about the site.  Windows LIve for instance now has in excess of 500 million users, but nobody would dream of saying, you must jump ship from GMail.

Let's put things into perspective.  I'm on Facebook as are all my friends, but the only reason we're all there, and there's broad agreement with us on this, is because there's currently nowhere else like it for us to be.  Facebook will eventually have it's day in the same way that Friends Reunited did, it's just going to take much longer for them as they have a far better business model, and Friends Reunited didn't predict (who could) the social networking explosion, and they weren't ready for it.

600 million users is a massive number, indeed it's 10% of the total population of the planet.  But if we currently have around 4 billion people with access to the Internet somehow, that leaves an enormous number off Facebook.  For these people its personal choice (China aside obviously).

Facebook launched in February 2004 and has seen enormous success while at the same time being slammed repeatedly over privacy.  It's the golden child of the Internet though and like your own small children in that you can shout at it daily but you'd shoot anyone who tried to take it away from you!

It's predicted that Facebook will reach 1 billion users by 2012 which is also great for the company.  I genuinely believe though that if people decide that Facebook is not for them they should be left to get on with it and not spoken about in derogatory terms.

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Responses to Facebook Reaches 600 Million Users

  1. Jack January 6, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    Given how difficult it is (how difficult they make it) to completely erase a Facebook account, I'd bet that a huge percentage of 'users' are simply dormant accounts for people who tried the service but didn't take it any further. Not to mention duplicate and triplicate accounts.

    There's lies, damned lies, and statistics....

    • Jon January 12, 2011 at 7:25 pm #

      A "user" is someone who has logged on and had activity in the last 30 days. JoJo: there are probably a lot of dead or inactive accounts out there but they are not included in the statistic. Yoav: Facebook can be improved and I think the way to do that is to talk about it on facebook, report your concerns to facebook, and get others on facebook to agree with you. The best way to do this is through facebook. That is why people complain about facebook ON facebook.

      I come in peace btw. Just informing you guys, not trying to argue.

      • Jojo January 12, 2011 at 10:39 pm #

        Are you an official representative of FB, Jon?

        I find it hard to believe that FB has 600 million ACTIVE accounts. I would need to see an independent confirmation of that from someone who has no stake in the numbers.

        But assuming that there are at least 2-3X times as many inactive as active users, that would imply that FB total membership is around 2 BILLION people or ~1/3 of the population of planet Earth. And FB isn't even allowed in China, among other places. [roflol] So I highly doubt that your contention is accurate.

        I (and many others that I know) don't have FB accounts either, so it would be difficult to post over there.

  2. Yoav January 6, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    What kills me is that so many people that use Facebook also complain about it constantly. I mean, there are so many other ways to communicate - if you hate Facebook so much, how about not posting about it on Facebook itself? That would be a start, I think.

  3. Jojo January 6, 2011 at 11:42 pm #

    And 550 million of that count are dead or inactive.

    How many unique accounts access FB say 10 or more times monthly?

  4. Jeyson January 14, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

    Do you know Diaspora http://joindiaspora.com? You can try it on https://diasp.eu

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