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Facebook now has two billion monthly users

Facebook has hit a new milestone, with the number of its active monthly users crossing two billion. The firms CEO Mark Zuckerberg says its new mission is not just connecting people, but helping them find common ground.

Social networking website Facebook reached two billion active monthly users globally on Tuesday, the company has said via a statement.

An average of more than 800 million people "like" something each day on Facebook, and more than 175 million "share a Love reaction," the company said. The websites "Groups" feature has more than a billion monthly users, it said.

The groups are built around everything from sporting interests to humanitarian projects. The company defines a monthly active user as a registered Facebook user who logged in and visited Facebook through its website or a mobile device, or used its Messenger app, in the past 30 days. It does not include people who use the Instagram or WhatsApp networks but not Facebook.

"As of this morning, the Facebook community is now officially 2 billion people!" co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg posted on Facebook.

"Were making progress connecting the world, and now lets bring the world closer together," Zuckerberg wrote. "Its an honor to be on this journey with you."

Rapid growth

Founded in 2004, the social media behemoth hit the billion-user mark five years ago.

Now, the user base is bigger than the population of any single country, and of six of the seven continents. It represents more than a quarter of the worlds 7.5 billion people.

The company said in May that duplicate accounts, according to an estimate from last year, may have represented some six percent of its worldwide user base.

Still, the social networks user population dwarfs that of similar companies. Twitter Inc reported in April monthly active users of 328 million, while Snap Incs Snapchat had 166 million daily users at the end of the first quarter.

As it has grown, Facebook has 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, it revealed Monday it is starting production on high-quality television series and gaming shows to be broadcast on its platform.

Hate speech

Facebook is also under pressure - along with other social media giants - to tackle the proliferation of hate speech and extremist content, trolls and misinformation, while safeguarding freedom of speech online.

Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube announced Monday the launch of an anti-terror partnership aimed at thwarting the spread of extremist content on the internet.

Each of the technology giants has been working individually to prevent its platforms or services from being used to spread extremist views.

Facebook posted details Tuesday on how it defines and enforces rules against hate speech on its platform. Last month, Zuckerberg said the company would hire 3,000 employees in the next year to review and remove offensive content posted by users.

sri/rd (dpa, AFP, Reuters)
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