How do you feel about Facebook reaching 1 billion users this month? Read the article and then discuss with a partner the larger social implications (if any) of this milestone.

Facebook reaches one billion users

By Aaron Smith, Laurie Segall and Stacy Cowley


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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- It's finally happened: Facebook exceeded 1 billion users.

Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday that his social media site had hit the milestone.

"This morning, there are more than one billion people using Facebook actively each month," he said. "Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life."

Topping the 1 billion mark means that Facebook now reaches one out of every 7 people on the planet. The ubiquitous social media giant that was famously created in a Harvard dorm room hasn't had much trouble attracting new members.

While its growth in North America and Europe has leveled off, Facebook continues sucking in new users throughout Asia and the developing world. It has a presence in more than 200 sovereign territories, according to stats tracked by All Facebook, which draws on data Facebook provides to advertisers, and an empire that stretches from a mere 20 users in Vatican City to more than 166 million in the United States.

It took Facebook six years to hit the 500 million user mark and barely two to double it. Facebook's total membership grew nearly 30% over the past year, but in hot regions like Brazil, its membership doubled.

Discuss the following questions.

  • What role does Facebook play in your life?
  • How many friends do you have on Facebook? Open up your Facebook and count them.
  • How often do you communicate with your Facebook friends?
  • Have you met all of them in “real life?”
  • How do you choose who to be friends with on Facebook?
  • Have you ever turned down a Facebook request? Why or why not?


  • New Year’s resolution
  • feat
  • agoraphobia
  • compelling
  • unfriending
  • footage
  • in the realm of possibility
  • quest
  • self-imposed
  • constraints
  • relish (v.)


Film to show woman's quest to meet all Facebook friends

By Trevor Moggin | Content provided by Digital Trends

facebook friends

At the start of 2010, ArLynn Presser from Winnetka, Illinois made a New Year's resolution to meet all of her Facebook friends before the year was out. Having 325 friends on the social networking site meant that such a feat would be in the realm of possibility, though by no means easy. In fact, for 51-year-old ArLynn, it wouldn't be easy at all.

Suffering from agoraphobia, she had hardly been outside her home in 30 years. However, she was determined to take on the self-imposed challenge and travel the world to meet people she had only ever communicated with online. Halfway through the year, she met Facebook friend 140, filmmaker Ben Gonzales. He immediately thought ArLynn's adventure would make a compelling documentary and proposed the idea to her. She agreed.

Having come in halfway through her quest, Gonzales had obviously missed many of ArLynn's meetings, but luckily for him she'd been using a basic video camera to document them. Budget constraints prevented Gonzales from following her to many of the countries she went on to visit, so he asked her son Joseph, who was accompanying her on her trip, to film with an HD camera.

ArLynn's challenging journey has taken her to 13 countries, including South Korea, India and England, and so far she's met 288 of her Facebook friends. Along the way she did a number of things she could never have imagined just a few months before, like taking opera singing lessons and even learning how to be a bodyguard.

Despite some ‘friends' unfriending her when hearing of her idea, the vast majority were happy to meet. "Most people have been incredibly welcoming," she told the Vancouver Sun. Two of her Facebook friends were animals -- she met them too, of course.

With ArLynn still on her quest to meet all of her friends, Gonzales' documentary, Face to Facebook, is still in production. Looking at the footage he's gathered so far, the filmmaker is confident he's captured something special.

"It's hard not to get emotionally involved in the story," he said. "It's great to see her growth, her journey, her transformation… it's quite remarkable." Gonzales hopes the movie (trailer below) will be completed in the coming months. If given the opportunity, would you relish the opportunity to meet all your Facebook friends face to face, or would you rather keep the meeting place online?


  1. Why did ArLynn decide to meet all her Facebook friends?
  2. What special challenges did she face in making this happen?
  3. Watch the Trailer for the documentary about her experience. What kind of person is she? Does the film look interesting? Why or why not?

Further Discussion

  • Would you ever do something like this? Why would it be difficult? What benefits could you see from doing this?
  • What do you know about conditions like agoraphobia and anxiety disorders? Are they common issues in your country? Do you think ArLynn choose a good way to handle her condition?
  • Is Facebook a largely a positive or negative force? Some argue that our increased reliance on social media has damaged our ability to handle real life situations. Do you agree?