This Week in Geek: Facebook passes user milestone
by Whit McGhee
Special to The Star
Oct 07, 2012 | 811 views |  0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Facebook tops 1 billion users

If Facebook were a country, it would now have the third largest population on the planet.

The social network’s CEO Mark Zuckerburg announced Thursday that more than one billion people are now actively using Facebook each month. That means that roughly one in seven people in the world have a Facebook account (though some users have multiple accounts).

The website also announced that its users had “liked” things via Facebook more than 1.13 trillion times and had uploaded some 219 billion photos since its launch.

The countries most plugged in to Facebook are the United States, Brazil, India, Indonesia and Mexico. The median user age is 22 years, according to data released Thursday.

Zuckerburg founded Facebook in 2004 when he was a sophomore at Harvard University.

Who knew Big Bird was so popular?

Wednesday’s night’s presidential debate was the most-discussed political event in U.S. history on Twitter, with more than 10 million tweets sent during the first meeting of President Barack Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney, according to the microblogging website.

But it was the quintessential star of Sesame Street who stole the show. More than a quarter of a million tweets mentioned Big Bird following a statement by Romney that he wanted to cut funding to PBS despite his love for the character.

Debate discussion on Twitter peaked just before 9 p.m., as moderator Jim Lehrer quipped, “Let’s not,” in response to an attempt by Romney to pick a new topic of discussion.

The 2012 presidential election has become one of the most socially interactive events ever, with candidates taking to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social networks to promote their campaigns.

For the first time in its history, YouTube streamed the presidential debate live Wednesday night. It will also carry the other two debates and the vice presidential debate on its website at

One in four Americans own or use tablets

New data from the Pew Research Center indicates that 22 percent of Americans own a tablet computer, while another 3 percent use one owned by someone else.

The survey, released Oct. 1, shows a steady increase in the adoption of tablets into American homes over the past year. Only one in 10 U.S. adults owned a tablet in mid-2011, according to the research.

Much of that growth can be attributed to lower-cost tablets hitting the market over the last year. In 2011, iPads comprised 81 percent of all tablets in American homes. But with the introduction of Amazon’s Kindle Fire, the Samsung Galaxy and others, that number has dropped to 52 percent, just slightly more than half.

The findings were part of a larger Pew Research Center survey on technology ownership that found half of all Americans now own a tablet, smartphone or both.
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This Week in Geek: Facebook passes user milestone by Whit McGhee
Special to The Star

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