05 Oct 2012

Facebook hits 1 billion users – how long can they stay on top?

Facebook announced on Thursday that they hit the milestone 1 billion active users on the 14th of September this year. It’s an amazing accomplishment, especially when you consider that this network was created in a dorm room in Harvard only 8 short years ago. Despite the big announcement, the cracks have begun to show for some time. Facebook has had to deal with a multitude of problems this year, including a major bruising in the stock market since its May 18 public offering. Facebook does not directly make money from its billion users, and this problem was made all the more clear when Facebook lost nearly half its value since going public. It is estimated that Facebook makes around $15 per user, which is a far cry from the $88 per person that Google makes from search engine users. More recently, there was the question of fake accounts. In August, it was confirmed that fake accounts made up 8.7% of Facebook users. These accounts have been used to generate fake ‘likes’ in an effort to boost the social media profile of personalities and businesses. Issues like these have built some distrust in the Facebook consumer base, although Facebook have announced that they are currently working hard to rectify the situation. Facebook has managed to become a part of our daily lives – many of us rely on Facebook to manage and keep track of our events, to browse photos and to generally keep in touch with family, friends and points of interest. But we have all seen major social media players come and go – will Facebook eventually succumb to the same fate?
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