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(Con Karampelas, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Joe Myers, Formative Content

About 2.41 billion people – or nearly a third of the global population – interact with Facebook at least once a month, according to the latest data from the social media giant.

The growth in Facebook’s monthly active users has been meteoric since the site was launched in the mid-2000s.

Just 15 years ago, Facebook had 1 million monthly active users, as this chart from Statista shows.

When you include other services in the Facebook family (WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger), the numbers get even bigger. Some 2.7 billion of us use these services each month. And 2.1 billion use at least one of them every day.


Facebook’s early days

Mark Zuckerberg and co-founders Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes and Eduardo Saverin launched “TheFacebook” while at Harvard University in February 2004.

Initially just available to Harvard students, within a month it had expanded to Stanford, Yale and Columbia.

By the end of 2004, it had reached 1 million users, and by 2005 it had become just “Facebook” and hit 6 million users. It reached the billion users mark in October 2012.

Today, the company has nearly 40,000 full-time employees in dozens of offices around the world from Atlanta to Zurich.

The sign outside the main entrance to Facebook HQ

The sign outside company headquarters.
Image: Facebook