Does Facebook Now Have More Than 750 Million Users?

Though we haven't seen an announcement since the site hit the 500 million mark, an inside source says Facebook has grown since

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We haven't received official -- or even semi-official, as it is -- word about the social network's audience since a Goldman Sachs report meant for potential investors was leaked back in January of 2011 that put the number of monthly active users at over 600 million. But, despite recent reports that the company's user base has been shrinking in the United States, where approximately half of the population has an account on the social network, and other developed countries that have been using the site for the years, TechCrunch has an inside source saying that there are now more than 750 million active users.

It's not hard to believe that number. Well, on some level it is, but that is the level that forces you to step back and compare, rationally, Facebook's growth to that of other companies. Even during the tech boom years, nobody was able to compete with what we've seen Facebook do since it was first founded out of Mark Zuckerberg's Harvard dorm room. The site is a juggernaut and, in recent month, we've seen it starting to spread in places like Brazil, where Google's Orkut network seemed impossible to penetrate. Now that site has been cracked -- and potential users know they will not join Facebook and learn that they can't connect or interact with friends because they're all using a competitor -- Facebook is only going to continue growing.

TechCrunch's Jason Kincaid believes that Facebook is holding out on making an official announcement about its impress size until it can hit the one billion mark. "We reached out to Facebook for confirmation, and a company spokesperson responded that they don't have anything to announce at this time," Kincaid wrote. "That isn't surprising: the company hasn't officially released an updated user count since it reached 500 million users nearly a year ago."

Kincaid also points out that "Facebook's user count metric actually means something." That is, the number of monthly active users only counts individuals who have logged in to the site within the last 30 days. This is compared to many other sites that like to bulk up the numbers by counting cumulative users, which is a figure that counts people who have created an account but have since left.

Image: Reuters.

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Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

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