Facebook-owned platforms now have more than 5bn monthly users

28 Jun 2017

Facebook logo on a cog. Image: Luca Lorenzelli/Shutterstock

Need proof that Facebook is the dominant communications platform? It now accounts for most of the planet’s messaging and social media.

Facebook has achieved another major milestone in its race to take over the world – or, more accurately, our online world – announcing that it now has 2bn active monthly users.

As little as five years ago, Facebook hit the 1bn mark as it expected to break into new markets in the developing world, eyeing up countries with enormous populations such as India.

Future Human

The company has highlighted its Groups feature as being one of its most successful services, with more than 1bn using it per month.

By far, Facebook’s greatest reach is not in North America or Europe, but in the Asia Pacific region, where more than 400m use Groups on a monthly basis, compared with 150m in the former.

To mark the occasion, Facebook has launched a new tool called Good Adds Up, which makes videos based on your data, similar to when it suggests sharing a video to mark an anniversary of a friendship.

As of this morning, the Facebook community is now officially 2 billion people!We're making progress connecting the…

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Shadows competition

When you take into account the major services that Facebook owns, its reach is even far greater, to the point that it now has the majority of the planet’s attention.

Aside from Facebook, the company founded by Mark Zuckerberg owns its own messaging platform, Messenger, as well as its acquired products, WhatsApp and Instagram.

Going by these services’ latest monthly user statistics, Messenger and WhatsApp account for 1.2bn users each. Instagram follows closely behind at 700m, with expectations for this to continue growing.

By comparison, Snapchat’s recent IPO revealed that the hugely popular service still pales in comparison given its young age, with approximately 255m users, while Twitter – which has struggled to grow its user base – sits at 328m.

China’s WeChat remains its biggest competition globally in terms of numbers, with close to 900m users, mostly in its native land.

However, Facebook has learned that with great power comes great responsibility, having recently issued a new mission statement calling for greater unity, after it was criticised for not doing enough to tackle the issue of fake news.

Speaking with TechCrunch, Facebook’s chief product officer, Chris Cox, admitted that the company needs to do more to prevent the spread of misinformation online.

“We’re getting to a size where it’s worth really taking a careful look at what are all the things that we can do, to make social media the most positive force for good possible,” he said.

Facebook logo on a cog. Image: Luca Lorenzelli/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic