Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg received a welcome bit of good news this week with the announcement that his social network has topped 1 billion “active” users i.e. users who have logged into Facebook at least once in the last month.

It’s ideal timing for Zuckerberg, whose company has suffered a series of setbacks in recent months after it was floated on the stock market in May and its share price promptly plunged off a cliff. Whatever its troubles in the business arena, there’s no doubt that Facebook still rules the roost as the largest and most used social networking platform in the world at the moment.

As well as the 1 billion active users milestone, Facebook released a number of other eye-catching statistics, including:

  • There have now been 1.13 trillion likes
  • There are 600 million people actively using Facebook on their mobile
  • The median age of a Facebook user is 22

Moving into the Mobile Market

In a statement accompanying the announcement this week, Zuckerberg reiterated that the focus of the company is on developing their mobile market, which is surely a shrewd move. With the imminent introduction of 4G into the UK (expected to be at least 10 times faster than current 3G speeds), people are going to be using their mobiles online for longer periods and for a greater range of activities.

Facebook has arguably been a bit slow on the uptake with mobile in the past (their reluctance stemmed partly from concerns that it would be harder to generate advertising revenue from mobile users). While their mobile app is decent enough, in my opinion it pales in comparison to Twitter’s mobile app, which is much faster, more intuitive and easier to use.

A big step in the right direction was the recent release of a new Facebook app for iPhone, which enables users with multiple pages to easily navigate between them and post on the one they want. This is essential for business users managing both a personal page and a business page – the only question is why it took Facebook so long to do it!

(For anyone interested, you can download the new app here)

Opportunities for Businesses Using Facebook

With so many users regularly visiting Facebook, the potential for businesses to engage customers and promote themselves on the network is vast. Competitions, giveaways and other strategies to drive engagement are taking off in a big way, and we’ve had some superb successes using these kinds of approaches for our clients in recent months.

This month, the Key Multimedia team are running a couple of social media workshops in Dorset to help small and medium-sized businesses make the most of networks like Twitter and Facebook. The first is in Dorchester on the 16th, and the second will be in Beaminster on the 25th. If you’d like to know more, why not give us a call on 01305 5542000 and speak to one of our team.