Facebook announced tonight that it has grown to more than 350 million monthly active users worldwide. This is the first official statement the company has made since it reached 300 million users and became “free cash-flow positive” in mid-September. So, by Facebook’s own count, that’s 50 million more users in around two and a half months.
This is a slightly slower rate of growth than Facebook has seen in recent months, but obviously still a huge number. A slowdown in growth is bound to happen, anyway. Consider that the company started the year with 150 million monthly actives, and has gained near 50 percent penetration levels in some countries.
The announcement, in the form of a blog post by founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, also reiterates that the company is planning to remove regional networks, something it has discussed in more detail over the summer. This change had previously been slated for late September; now, it’s coming within the next two weeks, according to the post. More about the change, from our previous coverage:
- Regional network filters will no longer be available in the home page stream (Facebook says few people were using them anyway).
- Regional networks will no longer appear in privacy settings (though you can still share content with everyone or a school or work network).
- Groups or events that are only open to members of regional networks will now be open to everyone.
- If your current regional network is a city, that information will be moved to the “Current City” field of your profile.
- If your current regional network is a region, a new “Current Region” field will be listed on your profile.
Zuckerberg also said that new per-item privacy controls, like the ones enabled for status updates this summer, will be going live within the next couple weeks as well. Details on what this will look like, from the post:
Since this update will remove regional networks and create some new settings, in the next couple of weeks we’ll ask you to review and update your privacy settings. You’ll see a message that will explain the changes and take you to a page where you can update your settings. When you’re finished, we’ll show you a confirmation page so you can make sure you chose the right settings for you. As always, once you’re done you’ll still be able to change your settings whenever you want.