Facebook hits one billion users, not counting fake accounts

Facebook logoFacebook has done the totally thinkable: it now counts 1 billion accounts in its user base, as reported to NBC's Today Thursday. This count presumably doesn't include the substantial population of fake accounts, which constituted about 8.7 percent of users as of early August.

Facebook's growth has been steady for the last couple of years, with 955 million active users in August. Fake and spam accounts had ballooned over the last few months, going from between 42.25 million and 50.7 million in March to 83.09 million in August.

The company began a serious crackdown on Fauxbook accounts last week, evidenced by losses in page "likes" by entities including Shakira and Zynga's Texas Hold'em Poker. Facebook did not comment on the effect the purge had on the percentage makeup of fake accounts, but it apparently didn't slow growth much. If 8.7 percent of fake accounts held steady, there are 95 million impostors on Facebook by now.

To put that billion in perspective, that's the entire estimated population of the world in 1800, or more than the combined current populations of the US, Indonesia, Brazil, and Pakistan. Less than nine years ago, no one was on Facebook; now, more than one in seven people in the world are.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Facebook, social networks

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