June 28, 2017
Social media giant Facebook announced it now has 2 billion monthly active users. The new milestone comes five years after reaching 1 billion users, and 13 years after Mark Zuckerberg first launched the platform. According to TechCrunch, Facebook leads social apps based on number of logged-in users, “above YouTube’s 1.5 billion, WeChat’s 889 million, Twitter’s 328 million and Snapchat’s estimated 255 million.” Facebook’s WhatsApp and Messenger each have 1.2 billion users, while its Instagram photo-sharing app recently exceeded 700 million.
“Facebook’s growth the last half decade has been fueled by the developing world,” reports TechCrunch. “The company has relentlessly optimized its app for cheap Android smartphones and low-bandwidth connections. It’s added 746 million users in Asia and the Rest of World region since hitting 1 billion users total. Meanwhile, it only added 41 million in the U.S. and Canada.”
Usage is on an upswing; 66 percent of the platform’s monthly users return daily, a jump from 55 percent when it had 1 billion users.
As Facebook builds its societal impact, the company is pushing a positive message with its new mission to “Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”
“We’re getting to a size where it’s worth really taking a careful look at what are all the things that we can do to make social media the most positive force for good possible,” said chief product officer Chris Cox.
“There’s definitely a deep sense of responsibility in every part of the company,” Cox told TechCrunch. “We’re getting to the scale where we have to get much better about understanding how the product has been used.”
The company has been conducting research around the globe and Zuckerberg has been touring the U.S. meeting with citizens and Facebook community members. There is a larger effort to identify how Facebook impacts people’s lives. The company has faced negative press recently in regards to fake news, its part in the latest presidential election, the contribution to Internet addiction, suicides on Facebook Live, and more.
“Facebook has largely conquered its competitors, giving it the slack to finally address the modern sociological challenges that stem from its popularity,” suggests TechCrunch. “If getting to 1 billion was about building a product, and getting to 2 billion was about building a user base, Facebook’s responsibility is to build empathy between us as it reaches for 3 billion.”