Business Technology

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Facebook chief: 'we will reach one billion users'

Mark Zuckerberg: confident Facebook will hit the one billion user mark. Photo: Bloomberg News
Mark Zuckerberg: confident Facebook will hit the one billion user mark. Photo: Bloomberg News

Emma Barnett

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and chief executive, is confident that the social network will hit the one billion user mark.

Speaking yesterday at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, Zuckerberg said: “If we succeed [in innovating and remaining relevant] there is a good chance of bringing this [Facebook] to a billion people…it will be interesting to see how it plays out."

He said there was no chance that Facebook would crack the one billion user mark this year, but “it was almost a guarantee that it will happen”.

The site, which is believed to have 500 million registered users worldwide, has only four remaining countries left to conquer: Russia, Japan, China and Korea, according to Zuckerberg. “We are down to just four counties where we aren’t the leading social network,” he told the Cannes crowd.

He revealed that Facebook in Russia only had one million users but that figure was doubling every six months.

Zuckerberg was confident that a tipping point would be reached in each of the four countries, which he defined as when “local-to-local connections outnumber local to foreign” friending on the site.

Zuckerberg has also admitted that he paid Twitter “too much attention” out of fear that the microblogging site’s growth would outpace that of the social network.

Talking to Inside Facebook, a news site dedicated to the social network, Zuckerberg said: “As good as I think they [Twitter] are, I think I personally just paid too much attention to it.”

Post failing to acquire Twitter in 2008, Facebook introduced real-time status updates to its news feed, a feature which heavily resembled Twitter’s 140 character tweets.

He said: “I look at their rate and thought if this continues for 12 months or 18 months, then in a year they’re [Twitter] going to be bigger than us…It just turned out that their growth rate was kind of unnatural. They got a lot of media attention, and it grew very quickly for a little period of time,” he said.

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