Mark Zuckerberg announced that one billion people used Facebook in a single day for the first time.
On Monday, 1 in 7 people on Earth used Facebook to connect with their friends and family. […] I’m so proud of our community for the progress we’ve made. Our community stands for giving every person a voice, for promoting understanding and for including everyone in the opportunities of our modern world. A more open and connected world is a better world. It brings stronger relationships with those you love, a stronger economy with more opportunities, and a stronger society that reflects all of our values.
There is also a video celebrating the milestone (which, ironically, I discovered on Twitter).
Facebook has had more than a billion total users for a while, but having that many people using the service in a single day is a significant accomplishment from a community, business, and sysadmin perspective. The service truly is a central node in the network that connects people over the Internet, and there would be far fewer individuals participating online without it.
Mark sounds sincere in his belief in the social good of the community that has built up within and around Facebook. It is likely that the sometimes creepy advertising and privacy violations are an unfortunate cost of doing business, but that he still believes in the core of the product and what it was from the beginning—a way to keep up with and follow the people and things you care about.
The hip thing to do these days is to opt-out of using Facebook—or to only use portions of it like Messenger, Groups, or Instagram. Increasingly though, refusing to use Facebook means missing out on the potential for online community with those outside of the closely knit online tech circles. There are plenty of places to find community online, but none of them are as universally accessible as Facebook.
That fact that Facebook keeps getting bigger does not mean the Open Web is doomed or that there will be more homogeneity online. Everyone’s experience of the platform (just like Twitter) entirely up to who you connect with and how you choose to participate.