Zuckerberg: Facebook Has One Billion Users
One in seven people on the planet now use Facebook to stay in touch, according to the social networking giant's founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
The eight-year-old company added 200 million new users in the last year, bringing its total number of "friends" to a billion across the world.
Mr Zuckerberg announced the milestone in an interview with NBC on Thursday, describing the development as "an amazing honour".
"To be able to come into work every day and build things that help a billion people stay connected with the people they care about every month, that's just unbelievable," the 28-year-old tech guru said.
But he also admitted Facebook had been in a "tough cycle" since the company's initial public offering in May. Shares in the social networking site on the Nasdaq stock exchange have lost around 50% since.
When the company went public, 421 million shares were issued at $38 (£24.20) each, rising as high as $45 (£28.66) each after trading began. But the stock closed on its first day barely above its initial public offering price of $38 and has been below that level since.
Shares were trading slightly up just after the open on Thursday, at $21.99 (£13.65).
"Things go in cycles. We're obviously in a tough cycle now and that doesn't help morale. But at the same time, you know, people here are focused on the things that they're building," said Mr Zuckerberg of his staff.
"I mean, you get to build things here that touch a billion people, which is just not something that you can say at almost anywhere else, so I think that's really the thing that motivates people."
Mr Zuckerberg, who founded Facebook in 2004 while at Harvard University, controls more than half of the voting stock. But the drop in the company's value has raised questions about his abilities as a chief executive.
"I take this responsibility that I have really seriously and I really think Facebook needs to be focused on building the best experiences for people around the world, right? And we have this philosophy that building the products and services and building the business go hand in hand," he told NBC.
Mr Zuckerberg said Facebook would be targeting new and current users on mobile devices, such as smartphones, to grow the site's customer base and enhance its ability to make money.