World

Facebook reaches 2 billion users

SAN FRANCISCO Facebook said on Tuesday that 2 billion people are regularly using its flagship service, helping it march past another milestone in its growth from a college curiosity in the US to the world's largest social media network.

Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg disclosed the number in a Facebook post.

"It's an honour to be on this journey with you," he wrote.

The user base is bigger than the population of any single country, and of six of the seven continents. It represents more than a quarter of the world's 7.5 billion people.

Facebook defines a monthly active user as a registered Facebook user who logged in and visited Facebook through its website or a mobile device, or used its Messenger app, in the past 30 days. It does not include people who use the Instagram or WhatsApp networks, but not Facebook.

The company said last month that duplicate accounts, according to an estimate from last year, may have represented some 6 per cent of its worldwide user base.

The social network's user population dwarfs that of similar companies - Twitter reported in April monthly active users of 328 million, while Snapchat had 166 million daily users at the end of the first quarter.

WeChat, a unit of Tencent and a widely-used service in China, said last month that it had 938 million monthly active users in the first quarter.

Facebook had 1.94 billion people using its service monthly as of March 31, an increase of 17 per cent from a year earlier.

It reached 1 billion in October 2012.

The company, which Mr Zuckerberg started in 2004 in his college dorm room, uses its huge size advantage to lure advertisers, offering them highly-targeted marketing capabilities based on its data about users.

The number of advertisers topped 5 million in April, the company said.- REUTERS

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