Zuckerberg: New year, 150 million Facebook users

The company's young CEO posts a blog entry with the big announcement on Wednesday, adding that the social network now has a bigger population than Japan.

It was only a matter of time. Social network Facebook says it has hit the milestone of 150 million active users, just more than two months after reaching 120 million and about four months after reaching 100 million. The site hit 140 million in the middle of December.

The announcement was made on the Facebook company blog by founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Should Facebook sustain this rate of growth, the 5-year-old site could hit 200 million users before Zuckerberg reaches his 25th birthday this spring.

Nearly half of those 150 million members, Zuckerberg wrote, use Facebook every day. Most of the site's new members now come from outside the United States. "This includes people in every continent--even Antarctica," the post read. "If Facebook were a country, it would be the eighth most populated in the world, just ahead of Japan, Russia, and Nigeria."

But Facebook Nation wouldn't be a financial heavyweight just yet. The company has made it clear that right now, it's focusing on growth over revenues .

That can be precarious, especially during difficult financial times, when Facebook's deep-pocketed backers may find those pockets a bit shallower. As some critics have pointed out, server power and other infrastructure costs are not as cheap internationally as they are in the States.

Reaching a milestone like this is obviously a big victory for Zuckerberg and the rest of Facebook, and the company insists that it's in solid financial shape to handle this kind of growth. That said, it'll only escalate the speculation--did anyone really believe that gossip about Facebook would end along with 2008?

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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