Facebook is expected to hit 1 billion users sometime before this fall, expected to hit the goal in August 2012. The new estimate was made by extrapolating the social network’s current grown rate and using a simple process of linear regression on the data from the end of 2008. So this is simple math, but depends on some rigid factors.
We should thank the UK digital marketing company iCrossing for doing the hard work as seen in the graph above. It’s clear by just glancing at the data that Facebook was previously growing at an exponential rate, but has recently slowed to a linear growth, which is a normal process to expect with such high numbers.
This is likely because the company’s quick expansion in many of its early adopting countries (such as those in North America and Europe) has slowed: most of those countries’ populations interested in social networks are already using the world’s biggest one. Developing countries are now increasing interest as well, however, and are thus keeping the growth more or less steady.
Two big countries in the second category are Brazil (16 percent on Facebook) and India (just 3 percent on Facebook), both of which have a potential of millions in new members for Menlo Park. In the last nine months, iCrossing says the former jumped 13 million to 30 million users and the latter increased its number from 22 million to 36 million users.
Facebook offers two types of metrics for its user base: total number of active users (800 million) and total number of mobile active users (350 million). Both numbers are as of September 22, 2011, and haven’t been updated since.
It is personally marvelous for me to see that Facebook jumped from 650 million users to 800million in such short period after I first written a blog post about this. So many users, so little time. I personally think that the 1 billion limit is subject to be achieved sooner than August, but there is only one way to find out, we’ll just have to wait and see.