If Facebook wants to reach its first billion users as its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, envisions, the world's biggest social networking website will have to massively expand its user base beyond those who have a computer, a nice smartphone or a decent internet connection.
This is possibly why Facebook launched its Zero version at MWC 2010. Without a barebone, back to basics version of Facebook, it is unlikely that it will achieve this landmark. Facebook Zero, we understand will only offer texts and can either be a free or paid for service.
We can even envisage that Facebook could possibly be used made to work with the basic SMS/Text service if required. Such a version could appeal to third world users and entice an even bigger portion of the world population to connect to Facebook, this time even if they don't have an internet access.
Facebook currently has more than 400 million active users which is more than twice the number it registered back in February 2009 (it had 175 million then).
The Computer Industry Almanac predicts that there will be 1.83 billion internet users by the end of the year and 2.1 billion by the end of 2012. If Facebook continues to grow at the current rate, it will reach 800 million users by next year and 1.6 billion by February 2012.
At the end of the 2009, around a quarter of the total worldwide internet population were active Facebook users. For Facebook to reach its billionth user milestone, it will need to get 50 percent of all internet users onboard by 2012.
Already there are 21 countries worldwide, most of them in the developed world, where more than a quarter of the population is connected to Facebook. Clearly growing elsewhere is what Facebook will be focusing on in the forthcoming months. With growing user base will come another set of issues and responsibilities.