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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Facebook Hits 100 Million Users

Fast growing social network Facebook has hit the 100 million users mark, according to a statement today by Dave Morin, the company's Senior Platform Manager.

How does that compare to MySpace's ascent? A guy named Rick appears to have become MySpace's 100 millionth registered user in 2006. MySpace took 3 years after launch to hit that magic number; for Facebook it took 4 years and 6 months.



The first years of MySpace were characterized by music and spam, while Facebook's beginnings were in college parties and drama. That drama continues today. For example, the company reports that only 20% of its 100 million users have visited the dramatically redesigned version of the site by clicking on a button at the top of their screen in recent weeks. Facebook users don't like change.

The company wants to spin the 20% number as a positive embrace of the changes (and the ordinarily fabulous Eric Eldon at Venture Beat buys that spin for some reason) but in fact it fits in the history of conflict between Facebook and its users.

Innovation and Monetization

None the less, the site is growing by leaps and bounds. 100 million registered users probably includes a substantial number of regularly active users. Now if only the company could figure out how to monetize those numbers as well as they'd like.

We believe they will probably figure it out. More interesting to us is watching Facebook develop its feature set, leading then falling behind in innovation. 100 million registered users is a lot of people to innovate with.

Unfortunately for Facebook, sometimes it seems that those people are not interested in innovation or monetization - they just want to communicate with each other. I guess when you call yourself a "utility" some people expect you to remain unexciting.