Friday the 13th Sees Facebook Hit 175M Active Users

    February 17, 2009

Some of us measure our popularity in the number of Facebook friends we have. Facebook measures its popularity in the number of “active users” it has—and that number hit 175,000,000 on Friday the 13th, according to a Tweet from Dave Morin of Facebook.

This comes 39 days after the site reached 150 million active users early last month. While from some reports, Facebook was adding 600,000 new active users per day in early December, the longer term average was far below that (the dates here, except for the date on the final report, are taken from CNET stories):

  • From August 26 to November 3, the site added 20 million users in 69 days, or about 290,000 per day.
  • From November 3 to December 18, the site added another 20 million users in 45 days, or a little under 450,000 users per day.
  • From December 18 to January 7, Facebook garnered 10 million new members in 20 days, or 500,000 new users a day.
  • From January 7 to February 13, the site added 25 million new members in about 37 days, or over 675,000 new members per day.

And since a picture is worth a thousand words, here are the same stats in graphic format:

CNET reports that most of this growth comes from outside the US—and comes with a price. “Server power is expensive, especially overseas,” says CNET. Plus, a lot of these international users generate far less advertising revenue for Facebook than their US counterparts. And overall, the site is still struggling with monetization, with a recent blow setting its projected overall valuation at $3.7B (down from $15B).

Can they find the missing step in everyone’s favorite formula to make money from social networks in time to capitalize on their growth? (You know—step one: set up a social network. Step two: some magic happens. Step three: profit. They use that one in science all the time.) Or will their popularity be their undoing as more and more “expensive” users join?