Ng: Facebook milestone-A A +A
By Wilson Ng
Thursday, August 9, 2012
THIS month, they say a milestone will happen in Facebook – it will get its one billionth member.
Facebook reached over 900 million members at the start of the year and it has taken them longer to hit the one billion mark. One of the reasons for this, as I said in a previous article, is that Facebook has been very serious in making sure that the members actually represent real people and not fake users.
Last week, during its quarterly earnings report–the first since they went public–Facebook reported that they had 955 million active members, of which 543 million were also accessing through mobile. Of these numbers, Facebook estimates that 83 million or about 8.7 percent are fake accounts. Of these, they estimate that 4.8 percent are duplicates, 2.4 percent are user-misclassified, and 1.5 percent are undesirable accounts.
You may want to check your account. I know some friends who have two accounts and it is not too difficult for Facebook to spot this by analyzing its usage to know that it is a duplicate account. It is also easy to spot mis-classified accounts. For instance, if the person said that he was born in 1994 (that should mean he is 18 years old) but he claims to have a PhD from a university or has worked for five years with a certain company (say, from 2007-2012) then it can be tagged as a fake or misclassified account. You didn’t start working at age 13, did you?
Facebook is also getting to be strict. I heard from some friends that their fake names were actually banned and they were asked to put their real names before they could be reinstated. I have a friend whose family name is Café and even if that is the case, the system does not allow him to call himself such. If your account has been stopped, you can always send an email or call their tech support.
Recently, a girl in Mexico named Selena Gomez had her account disabled with the following message, “Disabled – inauthentic account” with the warning, “Impersonating anyone or anything is not allowed.” Anyhow, the good news is that less than 24 hours later, after presenting proof that she was indeed born with that name, her account was restored.
Undesirable accounts are accounts that are probably done to send spam or maybe to click on ads. Facebook is strict on this, because some companies complain of not getting good results if their ads are clicked by bots rather than real people.
Anyhow, although Facebook is facing challenges, it is certainly still gaining ground. It has eclipsed all the other networks.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 10, 2012.