How Is Facebook Already Poised To Reach A Billion Users?
If you’ve been using Facebook since the very beginning of its existence like I have, you’re probably sitting back right now and wondering one thing: How the hell is this thing that was essentially supposed to keep college kids connected still the most popular social networking site on the planet?
At least, that’s what I think almost every time I log onto Facebook (with my super-long college ID email, no less!) and see yet another friend request from someone who just signed up for the site. Last year, the movie, The Social Network, included the tagline, “You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies,” to help sell it to consumers. But just a year later, it’s clear that the makers of the movie really didn’t need to sell it at all—Facebook reportedly now has 750 million users that have signed on and used the site in the last 30 days.
That’s right. In just one year, Facebook has increased the number of users it has by 50 percent, a feat that would be impressive for just about any company, let alone a company that already has millions upon millions of users all across the globe. And it begs the question: Will it be long before Facebook can comfortably say that it has one billion users?
The safe bet here is that it will in fact reach a billion users. And it shouldn’t take very long to do it, either. Say what you want about Mark Zuckerberg and the guys responsible for creating Facebook, but Facebook has outlasted a lot of the other social networking sites out there because of the leadership at the top, the strong ideas in the middle, and, of course, all of the users who have continued to grow along with Facebook itself.
Back when it first launched, I was in my second or third year of college and Facebook was the perfect way to connect with people I knew from class but didn’t necessarily know all that well (see: girls!). A couple of years later, Facebook became a way to stay in touch with friends and family as it grew to include more than just college students. A couple of years after that, I started getting friend requests from co-workers, publicists, artists (sidebar: That’s not an invitation to spam my wall—ha!), and other people who I worked with in the music and entertainment industry. And, most recently, it’s basically turned back into one big high school and college reunion where I can keep tabs on all of the people I’ve “friended” over the years. It’s come full circle and, yet, it’s managed to do so without changing too drastically in the time that I’ve been a user.
Unlike MySpace, which started off strong but eventually fell off due to an overabundance of advertising and an overwhelming amount of spam, Facebook has remained relatively unchanged over the last few years, which has allowed everyone from you to your grandmother understand how to operate it. That’s not to say that Facebook hasn’t gone through any changes—it’s certainly gotten a facelift here and there and received its’ fair share of criticism for doing so—but it’s stayed true to its’ original mission of connecting people, college kids or otherwise, and keeping everyone in the loop.
Moving forward, I can’t imagine that Facebook won’t continue to play a huge part in my life. I’m sure I’ll keep tabs on my kids one day and the kids of the people I grew up with. I’m sure I’ll use it more for work and (hopefully!) run into opportunities that I wouldn’t have run into without Facebook. And I’m sure I’ll continue to sign on every morning to check my messages, my wall, and my friend requests.
It’s kind of funny to see how far Facebook has come. And if they keep it up and continue to create a quality product that doesn’t dilute itself in advertising and try to make a quick buck, I don’t see Facebook going the way of MySpace or Friendster anytime soon.
If you’ve been using Facebook for as long as I have, you probably didn’t think it would become as large as it has today. But it has. And if it keep this up, it’ll boast a billion users in no time. Who would have thought?