After Facebook recently announced that it had surpassed one billion unique users in a day, our Technology Editor Kevin Kelly examines how Facebook will only further increase its number of users in the upcoming years.
In the past week, Facebook announced that for the first time, it had passed one billion unique users in one day.
That means one seventh of the earth’s population, or thereabouts when you count the possibility of spam accounts, visited the social network all on the same day.
There’s only three brands in the world that have more daily users/customers than Facebook: Microsoft Windows, Coca-Cola, and Colgate toothpaste.
It’s tough to pinpoint why Facebook became so dominant in social networking, much like the success of Windows.
They just seem to be introduced as the new default as people flocked to it over a relatively short space of time. It took Facebook about 10 years to become the behemoth it is.
However, what will it take for Facebook to reach two billion users a day? Mark Zuckerberg is way ahead of us in asking that question.
There will be three big areas that Facebook is going to try and push forward with innovating, thus getting an ever increasing number of people to sign up for their service.
The first is simple, reach as many people as they can. The developing world is where tech will see most of its growth over the next few decades, in particular the vast population centres of China and India.
Facebook will try to reach them by offering an app called Facebook Lite. Available on Android, it’s a stripped down version of their app that works on cheaper and less powerful Android phones with slower data plans.
This opens up Facebook to be used by people worldwide that have these lower quality smartphones. There’s more of them on the planet than upper-end Galaxy-type phones, so Facebook is making itself available everywhere.
Next is messaging. Facebook caused a bit of a stir when it took the messaging capabilities out of its main app and made it a separate app, but doing that has made it clear that Facebook treats messaging as another part of its mission rather than that just included in the social network.
By taking out messaging, Facebook has made its own Messenger app the default contact app for a lot of people. This includes group messaging, stickers and an array of silly, little features that a lot of people care about. Facebook Messenger has it in spades.
It’s also easier to attract people if you think it’s just a messaging service. Show your friend who’s not on Facebook how easy it is to stay connected and they’ll join in no time.
Finally, Facebook is joining the growing virtual assistant crowd with M. Similar to Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana, M will live in the Messenger app – another reason to get Messenger – and answer your questions as you have them.
Currently it’s only available to a small handful of people, but it’s out there and it’s hard to think that Facebook won’t release it to the real world soon.
This might not be such a draw as the others, mainly because if you use Facebook on your smartphone, you probably already use the assistant already built in. People will use it to integrate better within Facebook, sending messages or sharing statuses.
Facebook hasn’t reached peak-Facebook quite yet, it has plenty of room to grow still, even if one billion users seems like a huge amount.
As many people have internet access, they could join Facebook, and I think the company would like them to do that.
Photo: Maria Elena/ Flickr