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Facebook reaches one billion users

The social media website Facebook has announced it has reached 1 billion users. It is a major milestone for the company, which has seen stock prices tumble since going public in May.

It has been a rough summer for Facebook after an unsuccessful stock market debut, but co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg (pictured above) had reason to celebrate with the news that the network now has one billion users, calling the number "humbling."

"If you are reading this, thank you for giving me and my little team the honor of serving you," he said in a statement. "Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in life."

Facebook said it achieved one billion active users on September 14 at 12:45 pm Pacific time, including 600 million mobile users. The company's last update in June had put the user count at 955 million.

Tough debut

Facebook's time on the stock market has not been as successful as Zuckerberg would have liked. Debuting at 38 dollars per share, the price has fallen dramatically, and now stands at just over 22 dollars.

Analysts have expressed concern over the company's ability to maintain revenue as users increasingly switch from computers to mobile devices, where advertising has posed technical problems. Facebook is also facing lawsuits from disgruntled shareholders.

"Things go in cycles," Zuckerberg during an interview on the NBC Today show. "We're obviously in a tough cycle now and that doesn't help morale, but at the same time, you know, people here are focused on the things that they're building.  

'Touch a billion people'

According to the independent website Social Bakers, more people (166 million) use Facebook in the US than any other country, followed by Brazil (58 million), India (55 million), Indonesia (47 million) and Mexico (38 million).

"You get to build things here that touch a billion people, which is just not something you can say at almost anywhere else, so I think that's really the thing that motivates people," said Zuckerberg.

Since Facebook launched in 2004, users have produced over 1 trillion "likes" and uploaded 219 billion photos. The median user age is 22 years old.

dr/rc  (AFP, Reuters, AP)