How the gadget world changed in a year
Facebook hits one billion users
Around a seventh of the world's population is now on Facebook
Facebook now has one billion users, the equivalent of about one in seven of the world's population, its founder has announced.
Mark Zuckerberg welcomed the "amazing, humbling" milestone, which has come in a year that has seen the social network float on the stock market to a mixed reaction.
More than 50 billion dollars (£31.2 billion) has been lopped off Facebook's market value as the company's share price has fallen from 38 dollars (£23.50) when stocks were initially offered in May to Wednesday's closing price of 21.83 dollars (£13.50).
Mr Zuckerberg has seen the value of his own Facebook holdings plummet roughly more than nine billion dollars (£5.6 billion) as sceptics question his ability to lead the company he founded eight years ago in a Harvard University dormitory.
But on Thursday he said Facebook was "by far" the thing he was most proud of.
He wrote on his blog: "This morning, there are more than one billion people using Facebook actively each month. If you're reading this: thank you for giving me and my little team the honour of serving you.
"Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life. I am committed to working every day to make Facebook better for you, and hopefully together one day we will be able to connect the rest of the world too."
Since its launch, Facebook has enjoyed unprecedented growth, with 1.13 trillion "likes", 140.3 billion friend connections and 219 billion photos shared to date. It has become an increasingly important tool for advertisers and content creators - 2.45 billion content items and 2.7 billion Likes are shared every day on Facebook.
More and more users are accessing Facebook on the go - 600 million use the social network on their mobiles at least once a month and the site can be reached on more than 7,000 different types of mobile devices.
And it is increasingly becoming a platform for other uses - more than nine million apps and websites are integrated with Facebook.