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Where Will Facebook Get Its Next 500 Million Members?

So now that Facebook has reached 500 million members, the big question is where Facebook will get the necessary users to reach its next important milestone, one billion, one which will make Facebook, if it was a country, the third biggest in the world and certainly the richest one.

The world's biggest social networking website is already looking forward to expand in territories where it still accounts for a minority of the users online, continents like Africa or Asia where Facebook only accounts for one or two percent of the total population.

According to O'Reilly Research (opens in new tab), the share of active Facebook users coming from Asia for example is growing fast, while North America and Europe have dropped showing that the momentum is with the less mature markets.

Facebook is also likely to get more traction from the 40+ audience, one which is currently overwhelmingly under represented across all territories but which bears some impressive promises. Figures (opens in new tab) show that the older portions of the audience account for some of the strongest growth figures across all nine territories.

Right until now, Facebook has been an ace at getting more eyeballs and the next step, like for Twitter, is to monetize these fabulously high members numbers; guesstimates put the revenue of the entity at around $1 billion per annum, that's roughly $2 per user.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.