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Facebook’s 100M users – absolute, or active?

Alex Christie

5 September 2008

100million_4We all know that Facebook has experienced unbelieveable growth over the last 12 months – and have for the first time (at least as far back as I can remember), been shouting about it themselves. As well as the ad that appeared next to my news feed (right), they also have been  broadcasting last weeks count of 100 milllion Facebook users on their blog. Usually they seem pretty content to let everyone else blow their trumpet for them, and as we all know, theres a-plenty of that going on (ref Facebook: The Movie).
 
But I’m a bit confused to the figures. Just back in May, Comscore reported Facebook as having 123 Million unique visitors. Whether this was genuine, given that the social netwarking collossus itself announced the first 100 Million last week, is up for debate. We keep an eye on these things here at Tamar, and it looks like their user counting tool has been fritting between counting active users, and those who have registered and then never done anything else. Facebook itself had the figures (sourced from its advertising application) at well over 100 Million in August.

We think that Facebook is continuing to do the decent thing and is now showing us only actual users who regularly check and update their profile – unlike many other social networks out there who would be happy to overinflate by counting every man and his dog (yep thats true in some cases) who have ever registered.

Wherever the actual number sits (and I’m probably out of touch here – in the time it took my primitive
literacy abilities to string together the former paragraph, they’ve
probably picked up a few more million users…) its still rather impressive – and probably exceeds even Zuckerberg’s wildest aspirations when he first bought the URL Facebook.com in 2005. For the normally modest Facebook to announce this in such style – I would imagine that some internal targets have been hit and someone in Facebook Towers is getting an affectionate pat on the back.

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