The big news yesterday really wasn’t Facebook hitting a billion users. As big a milestone as that is, it was somewhat expected.
The real news was found in what looks more like an internal metrics document Facebook published, citing a few characteristics of their billion-user platform, including this:
As of September 2012, Facebook has 600 million mobile users.
Why is that big? Last spring, Facebook’s IPO docs showed that in December 2011, 50% of their 845 million users (425 million) were mobile.
Now nine months later, 600 million Facebook users are mobile. That’s 175 million more people – a growth rate of 41%. Facebook only added 155 million total users in that same period – a growth rate of 18%. At this rate, two-thirds of Facebook users will be mobile by early 2013 and three-fourths will be by this time next year.
This is the real story: as big as it is for Facebook to hit a billion users, consumers are moving to mobile to be social even faster – and in greater volumes. The implications of this fact are bigger than Facebook’s monetization strategies; this impacts every marketer with a social media strategy. Because if it’s not mobile-optimized, it’s just not social any more.