Facebook borders on a billion PDF Print E-mail

Facebook's latest amendment to its S-1 filing for its IPO has revealed new statistics about the social network.

According to the filing, Facebook now has 901 million monthly active users. In September 2011, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed the site had a total of 800 million active users, with this number increasing to 850 million by the end of 2011. By comparison, Facebook had 680 million users this time last year.

"We believe that we are at the forefront of enabling faster, easier, and richer communication between people and that Facebook has become an integral part of many of our users' daily lives. We have experienced rapid growth in the number of users and their engagement," states the filing.
If Facebook continues on its current growth trajectory, there is little doubt the social network will surpass the one billion user mark within the next six months.
"There are more than two billion global Internet users, according to an IDC report dated August 2011, and we aim to connect all of them," says Facebook, adding it has achieved varying levels of success among Internet users in different countries.
"For example, as of 31 December 2011, in countries such as Chile, Turkey, and Venezuela, we estimate that we had penetration rates of greater than 85%."
User price tag
Other statistics revealed by Facebook include the fact that the network had just below 500 million mobile users in March 2012. In addition, an average of 3.2 billion "likes" and comments have been generated by Facebook users daily in the first quarter of 2012. The network also had over 125 billion friend connections as of the end of March.
With over 900 million active users, Facebook's latest figures place the service's average revenue per user (ARPU) at $1.21 (which it says is a 6% increase from the first quarter of 2011). ARPU is estimated according to user geography (the region in which ad impressions are delivered or virtual goods purchased) and total revenue in that region, divided by the total number of monthly active users.
The US and Canada account for 50% of Facebook's revenue. This figure is, however, down 4% from last year, and Facebook attributes this to its growth in other markets such as Germany, Brazil, Australia and India.
What competition?
Facebook remains head and shoulders above its competitors in the social networking space. Twitter currently has over 500 million users, while Google+ and LinkedIn both have over 100 million users (data is sketchy on active users though).
When Google+ reached the 90 million user mark in January, World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck commented that it would just be a matter of time before Google+ overtook Twitter.
"The real target for Google+ is Facebook, and it is the battle of the billions. Facebook will have a billion registered users this year, and Google has more than a billion unique users of its search engine.
"Facebook's challenge is to turn a billion users into comparable revenue; Google's challenge is to turn a billion search users into a billion social networking users. In meeting those challenges, the two companies will set the agenda for where traffic goes on the Internet in the next couple of years."
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