Facebook hits two billion user mark

Five years after hitting the one billion mark, the social media giant - founded in 2004 - hit another milestone.

    On average, more than 800 million people "like" something at the social network every day [EPA]
    On average, more than 800 million people "like" something at the social network every day [EPA]

    The social media network giant Facebook says its ranks of monthly active users have hit the two billion mark - or more than a quarter of the world's population.

    "As of this morning, the Facebook community is now officially 2 billion people!" cofounder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post on his Facebook page marking the milestone.

    "We're making progress connecting the world, and now let's bring the world closer together," he wrote. "It's an honor to be on this journey with you."

    Naomi Gleit, a vice president at the internet giant, credited millions of small communities at Facebook for helping drive growth.

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    More than a billion people take part in "groups" on Facebook each month and more than 800 million people "like" something on the social network on an average day, she added.

    Founded in 2004, Facebook hit the billion user mark five years ago.

    Meanwhile, the social network announced that it deleted about 66,000 posts a week in the last two months in an effort to crack down on what it deems to be hate speech. 

    The company said in a blog post that deleting posts can "feel like censorship", but that it is working on explaining its process better and improving its enforcement of hate speech. 

    Facebook defines hate speech as attacks on people based on their race, sexual orientation and other "protected characteristics".

    As part of that effort, Facebook says it plans to hire an additional 3,000 people in the next year to review posts. That is on top of the 4,500 people it currently has reviewing posts. 


    Social network rivals

    As it has grown, Facebook has also consistently updated features to fend off challengers such as Snapchat and adapt to trends such as the migration of news and streaming video online.

    In the latest move to deepen its reach, Facebook revealed it is starting production on high-quality television series and gaming shows to be broadcast on its platform.

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    Working with a small group of partners, Facebook aims to start putting out episodes of its forthcoming series by the end of the summer, Nick Grudin, the vice president for media partnerships, told the AFP news agency.

    Facebook's initiative follows similar moves by Netflix, Amazon and the online television platform Hulu, which have thrown themselves into content production, as have YouTube and Apple.

    Facebook is also partnering with other technology and social media giants like Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube to launch an anti-terror partnership aimed at thwarting the spread of "extremist" content online.

    The "Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism" intends to share engineering, research and knowledge to help "continue to make our hosted consumer services hostile to terrorists and violent extremists," the companies said.

    "We believe that by working together, sharing the best technological and operational elements of our individual efforts, we can have a greater impact on the threat of terrorist content online," said a joint statement.

    SOURCE: News agencies


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