Rise of a social media giant: Facebook about to hit 2 billion users

In its results for the first quarter of 2017, the company said it had 1.94 billion monthly active users -- 17% more than a year earlier.

Picture: AFP

SAN FRANCISCO – Facebook is fast approaching the point at which it will be used regularly by a third of the planet.

In its results for the first quarter of 2017, the company said it had 1.94 billion monthly active users -- 17% more than a year earlier.

Today, Facebook is a household name but rewind the clock 13 years and few outside US colleges had heard of it. Here's a timeline of the rise of the world's most popular social network.

The rise of a social juggernaut

  • 2004: 0-1 million users

Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes and Eduardo Saverin launch thefacebook.com, a social network for US college students. 1 million are active on the network by the end of the year.

  • 2005: 6 million users

thefacebook.com officially drops “the” and becomes Facebook. Adds US high school and international school networks.

  • 2006: 12 million users

Facebook expands registration beyond high school and college students so anyone, anywhere can join the network.

  • 2007: 58 million users

Marketplace, Facebook Ads, video and mobile platform all launch.

Facebook now has nearly 2 billion users and makes a $1 billion...

The growth of a giant. Read more: http://wef.ch/2p3JBzT

Posted by World Economic Forum on Friday, 5 May 2017

  • 2008: 150 million users

Spanish version of the platform and iPhone application launch, alongside the introduction of the chat function.

  • 2009: 360 million users

The “Like” button is launched.

  • 2010: 600 million users

Construction begins on a custom-built data centre in Oregon, and Facebook Places launches.

  • 2011: 845 million users

Oregon data centre opens, Video Calling and Facebook for iPad are introduced.

  • 2012: Over 1 billion users

Facebook passes the 1 billion user mark in October 2012. Earlier in the year, the company acquires Instagram and launches on the NASDAQ stock market.

  • 2013: 1.23 billion users

Donate button launches, and Instagram passes 100 million users.

  • 2014: 1.39 billion users

Trending function launches and Facebook announces acquisitions of WhatsApp and Oculus.

  • 2015: 1.59 billion users

Messenger application launches as well as Live video for public figures.

  • 2016: 1.86 billion users.

Facebook Live is rolled out to all users, and Messenger passes 1 billion monthly users.

  • 2017: Facebook confirms it expects to pass 2 billion monthly users in 2017. The company begins a crackdown on fake news after being accused of failing to tackle the problem during elections.

Written by John McKenna, Formative Content.

This article was republished courtesy of the World Economic Forum.