Facebook Hits 300 Million Users

The Facebook main page is shown in a web browser. AP PHOTO

This story was written by CNET's Caroline McCarthy.


Facebook announced Tuesday, just as it was about to take the stage in a "developer garage" event at the TechCrunch50 conference, that it has reached 300 million active users around the world.

Also: It's cash-flow positive.

"As of today, Facebook now serves 300 million people across the world. It's a large number, but the way we think about this is that we're just getting started on our goal of connecting everyone," a blog post from CEO Mark Zuckerberg read. "We're also succeeding at building Facebook in a sustainable way. Earlier this year, we said we expected to be cash flow positive sometime in 2010, and I'm pleased to share that we achieved this milestone last quarter. This is important to us because it sets Facebook up to be a strong independent service for the long term."

So I guess that's code for "no IPO soon."

Facebook hit 250 million users precisely two months ago, and 200 million users just three months before that.

Zuckerberg's blog post also highlighted a new trend in his rhetoric about the company he founded in 2004 as an undergraduate at Harvard: They run a tight ship. Or at least that's what he says.

"The site we all use every day is built by a relatively small group of the smartest engineers and entrepreneurs who are solving substantial problems and each making a huge impact for the 300 million people using Facebook," he wrote. "In fact, the ratio of Facebook users to Facebook engineers makes it so that every engineer here is responsible for more than one million users. It's hard to have an impact like that anywhere else."

Zuckerberg said in an interview with Bloomberg last month that Facebook hoped to increase its work force by 50 percent by the end of the year, but stressed that "the thing I want to remind people of is we're way closer to the beginning than the end."
By Caroline McCarthy
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