Less than one year after Facebook’s big 500 million user milestone, the social network is still piling on more users.
A source close to the company tells TechCrunch that Facebook’s user count has just passed 750 million. Facebook won’t officially confirm the number, probably because it’s waiting for 1 billion users before it makes another announcement, but earlier estimates from this month and last month suggest that the numbers may at least be close to the mark.
Despite the higher numbers, there are some signs of trouble for Facebook, particularly in countries that were quick to adopt the social network. A report by Inside Facebook found that active users in the United States dropped by 6 million in May. Other reports have shown that Facebook is still growing in the United States, albeit slower than ever before.
But at this point, Facebook doesn’t really need to keep tacking on users in early adopter countries. Making money off those users is far more important, as the company sees investments in the billions.
To that end, Facebook has been playing around with new kinds of advertisements, such as real-time ads based on users’ status updates. The company’s latest experiment is a sponsored status update that allows for user comments.
Facebook is also broadening its horizons in the same way that Google did after conquering search. The social network now offers an e-mail service, has a broad partnership with Skype and is making big moves into mobile. On the media front, Facebook has dabbled in streaming movies and is rumored to be working on a big social music service.
In other words, Facebook is getting huge regardless of how many users are currently aboard. The big question is whether users will adopt these new services, or whether they’ll forever see Facebook as a place to stalk friends, gawk at photos and gab about the minutia of life.
Let’s see some statistics for that.