Forward Thinking

The 1 Billion User Man

By Seth Berkman

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Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg is proud to be a 1 billion user man.

After the social network hit the 10-digit mark for users, Zuckerberg said he was “humbled” by the power of connecting poeople.

“Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life,” Zuckerberg, who was raised in a Reform Jewish home, said in a blog post.

On a “Today” show interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer last week, Zuckerberg said he was aiming for an even bigger audience.

“There’s 5 billion people in the world who have phones, so we should be able to serve many more people and grow the user base there,” he said. Facebook also has 600 million mobile users.

Zuckerberg said Facebook is ready to pump more growth from smart phone users.

“Phone is a great platform. And the thing that I think a lot of people don’t think about is that there are actually more people in the world using Facebook on mobile Web, right, so not using the apps on iOS or Android, but actually just going to a browser on a phone. There are more people doing that than the iPhone and all of Android phones combined, right? So it’s actually a pretty diverse ecosystem.”

Created in 2004, Facebook had 500 million users by 2010. Some analysts worry that its growth is slowing because it added fewer new users in recent months than before.

Watch video of Zuckerberg’s interview.

Zuckerberg was asked by co-anchor Matt Lauer how, with a billion users, the company wasn’t “killing it” by making money.

“It depends on your definition of ‘killing it.’ I mean, we are making billions of dollars,” Zuckerberg fired back.

In its last earnings report, Facebook said revenue increased by 32 percent to $1.18 billion in the second quarter. But that marked the slowest pace of quarterly revenue growth since the first quarter of 2011 - the earliest data available.

Founded by Zuckerberg in a Harvard dorm in 2004, Facebook took three years to reach 50 million users. By 2010, that hit 500 million. But with Google Inc launching its own social network and other services from Twitter to YouTube vying for Web surfers’ time, the social network is keen to keep rolling out new products to keep its members engaged.


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