With roughly 2.8 billion monthly active users as of the fourth quarter of 2020, Facebook is the biggest social network worldwide. In the third quarter of 2012, the number of active Facebook users surpassed one billion, making it the first social network ever to do so. Active users are those who have logged into Facebook during the past 30 days. During the third quarter of 2020, the company stated that 3.3 billion people were using at least one of the company's core products (Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, or Messenger) each month.
Founded in 2004, Facebook is currently the biggest social networking service based on global reach and total active users. Launched by Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg and some of his contemporaries, the service was initially only available to Harvard students but soon expanded to regional universities, the Ivy League and further colleges before opening up to high school students and global users aged 13 or over. As of October 2020, India ranks first in terms of Facebook user base size.
How Facebook works
Facebook users must register before using the social network and are free to create a personal profile in order to interact with other users which they can add as friends. Furthermore, Facebook users may join user groups based on workplace, college or school and can also categorize their Facebook contacts into lists. Users can post status updates or other content, and message each other. Facebook users can also interact with a wide selection of applications including social games or other Facebook-owned services like photo-sharing app Instagram.
Facebook on mobile
As of October 2020, most Facebook users access the social platform almost exclusively via mobile devices. The availability of Facebook on mobile has enabled the company to lay an early claim to mobile-first online markets such as India. Facebook also publishes apps based on original Facebook features such as Facebook Messenger. The wide range of Facebook-related apps ensure that the company is one of the most popular app publishers worldwide based on downloads.
Number of monthly active Facebook users worldwide as of 4th quarter 2020
Number of users in millions
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Facebook measures monthly active users as users that have logged in during the past 30 days. Figures do not include Instagram or WhatsApp users unless they would otherwise qualify as such users, respectively, based on their other activities on Facebook.
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Facebook. (January 27, 2021). Number of monthly active Facebook users worldwide as of 4th quarter 2020 (in millions) [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved March 03, 2021, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/
Facebook. "Number of monthly active Facebook users worldwide as of 4th quarter 2020 (in millions)." Chart. January 27, 2021. Statista. Accessed March 03, 2021. https://www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/
Facebook. (2021). Number of monthly active Facebook users worldwide as of 4th quarter 2020 (in millions). Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: March 03, 2021. https://www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/
Facebook. "Number of Monthly Active Facebook Users Worldwide as of 4th Quarter 2020 (in Millions)." Statista, Statista Inc., 27 Jan 2021, https://www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/
Facebook, Number of monthly active Facebook users worldwide as of 4th quarter 2020 (in millions) Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/ (last visited March 03, 2021)