What does the future of Facebook look like? How many more people can Facebook attract in the coming years? A lot, as per the Facebook CEO. Mark Zuckerberg believes that the social networking website will have 5 billion users by 2030.
In an event at Facebook's new office, Zuckerberg said that the social juggernaut will have 5 billion users by 2030. Facebook currently has more than 1.5 billion monthly active users. "We want to finish connecting everyone, we're going to do it in partnership with governments and different companies all over the world," Zuckerberg was quoted as saying.
Interestingly, Zuckerberg's current goal is to bring 5 billion people of the world's 7 billion population. That's rather odd, as it suggests Zuckerberg believes that the world's population will remain unchanged in the next 14 years. According to most estimates, the world's population will be at 8.5 billion by 2030.
The potential problem with Zuckerberg's vision is that there might not be enough people in the world - even if using the 8.5 billion estimate. Going by the current growth rate - 1.5 billion users in 12 years, we could expect Facebook to have little more than 3 billion users in the next 14 years. At some point, the growth rate and user base of Facebook could become stagnant. And Facebook realises that. The company is currently tapping emerging markets where many millions of users still don't have access to the Internet, with its own offering - Free Basics.
But the initiative, no matter how Facebook advertises it, has started to see major roadblocks in its way. Privacy advocates and users alike have strongly opposed Facebook's Free Basics program, with which Facebook wants to bring connectivity to more people. Many believe that Free Basics violates net neutrality. This argument has seen many Facebook partners sign out of the program. It will be interesting to see how things unfold for Free Basics in the coming months.