Facebook has 750 Million users – as talk of user exit grows

Techcrunch is reporting that Facebook now has more than 750 million users. With its plans for China this puts it well on the way to its billion user target.

That growth, however, comes in sharp contrast to a number of recent reports that says people are abandoning the social network.

Facebook’s incredible worldwide growth has reached another major milestone: the service now has 750 million monthly active users, according to a source close to the company.

We reached out to Facebook for confirmation, and a company spokesperson responded that they don’t have anything to announce at this time. That isn’t surprising: the company hasn’t officially released an updated user count since it reached 500 million users nearly a year ago. Facebook has obviously been growing since then — we believe the company may be waiting until it hits the 1 billion mark before officially updating the stat again, according to Techcrunch.

The news that Facebook has (unofficially) 750 million users comes almost a year since Facebook made any official announcement about its user numbers. The last official update came in July 2010 when Facebook said it had 500 million users. In January we heard that Facebook’s speedy growth curve had taken it to an (unofficial) 600 million users.

That says in the six months from July to December Facebook added 100 million users, but in the following six months it has added 150 million users, right? So its growth is accelerating, or at least was, rather than contracting? Of course, this is an overall figure and does not tell us if for instance users in the UK and the US are turning their backs on the big blue shiny social network.

What we do know is that its growth will massively accelerate again if and when Facebook launches in China. In April it was reported that Facebook was talking to Chinese web firm Baidu about a partnership.

Obviously, that will in essence be a different kind of Facebook not one that is connected to the existing network, but a separate Chinese version with all the political modifications such a venture entails.

So how does this growth square with reports we keep hearing/reading that Facebook is shrinking as people abandon it?

Earlier this week Marketing reported that the majority of over-45s consider Facebook exit:

“Almost half of Facebook members are considering leaving the social network, according to a survey commissioned by Marketing. While 46% of the 1300 adult respondents surveyed by OnePoll said they had thought about leaving Facebook, or had already left, that number increased to more than 50% when focusing on the over-45s.

“For the younger age groups, more than a third said they had considered ending their membership recently. Men also showed more negative sentiments, with more than 50% thinking about leaving the service, compared with 39% of women.”

There have also been several blog posts with another going live on Brand Republic today: Facebook – The Beginning of the end?

Facebook is always going to lose some people, but I certainly don’t hear much talk from the people I know (or see much sign) that people are planning to leave or are particularly dissatisfied with it.

Personally, I still find it a useful way to connect and I don’t find the advertising or the privacy implications too onerous.  Talk of its death is greatly exaggerated.