A business milestone or a sign of the apocalypse? Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg says the social media site had one billion users in one day.

Larry Loeb, Blogger, Informationweek

August 29, 2015

3 Min Read
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In what some have interpreted as one sign of an approaching, biblical-style apocalypse, Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that this week, one billion people -- one out of every seven people on Earth -- used Facebook in a single day.

Zuckerberg wrote in the post, "This was the first time we reached this milestone, and it's just the beginning of connecting the whole world."

His vision of the digital Utopia ran unabated in the post.

"A more open and connected world is a better world. It brings stronger relationships with those you love, a stronger economy with more opportunities, and a stronger society that reflects all of our values," Zuckerberg wrote.

This differs from the numbers that Facebook usually reports, which are averaged over 30 days. Facebook had 968 million daily active users in June, which represented a 17% increase from the same month in 2014.

Menlo Park, Calif.-based Facebook has nearly 1.5 billion users who log in at least once a month. Most people on Facebook live outside the United States and Canada.

Another way to look at this number is that one person used Facebook for every four dollars the company reported in revenue ($4.04 billion) in the last quarter. Net profit for the quarter was less than that ($719 million) which was still a honkingly big number.

Additionally, Facebook is not standing on its laurels by counting a billion users in one day. Oh no. The company is up to a lot more, including the announcement this week of M, a digital assistant that uses artificial intelligence, as well as good, old-fashion know-how, to get people answers. It's expected to compete with Siri, Cortana, and other digital assistants.

However, all is not perfect in this online destination oasis. FB's new feature of video uploads has caused problems with content creators, who say users have been "freebooting" their copyrighted content onto FB without compensation.

In response, Facebook has announced it will use a system to identify videos uploaded (through their audio tracks) and check if they belong to others.

[Read about Facebook's entrance into the drone market.]

"We're working with Audible Magic to enhance the way that system works with Facebook, including improving the intake of content intended to be blocked from our platform," according to Facebook. "We're making improvements to our existing procedures so that infringing content can be reported and removed more efficiently, and to keep repeat infringers off our service."

But wait, there's more!

"We have been building new video matching technology that will be available to a subset of creators," Facebook claims. "This technology is tailored to our platform, and will allow these creators to identify matches of their videos on Facebook across Pages, profiles, groups, and geographies. Our matching tool will evaluate millions of video uploads quickly and accurately, and when matches are surfaced, publishers will be able to report them to us for removal."

It's just like a DMCA takedown without all that messy legal stuff.

Yes, having a billion users in one day is impressive. The mess that all those users create by trying to communicate in unauthorized ways is also impressive.

About the Author(s)

Larry Loeb

Blogger, Informationweek

Larry Loeb has written for many of the last century's major "dead tree" computer magazines, having been, among other things, a consulting editor for BYTE magazine and senior editor for the launch of WebWeek. He has written a book on the Secure Electronic Transaction Internet protocol. His latest book has the commercially obligatory title of Hack Proofing XML. He's been online since uucp "bang" addressing (where the world existed relative to !decvax), serving as editor of the Macintosh Exchange on BIX and the VARBusiness Exchange. His first Mac had 128 KB of memory, which was a big step up from his first 1130, which had 4 KB, as did his first 1401. You can e-mail him at [email protected].

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