Facebook hits 1 billion users, as it struggles to keep growing
Facebook hit 1 billion users last month, the network said Thursday, a staggering amount of global ubiquity that is remarkable for an 8-year-old start-up amid plummeting morale at the company.
The company said it hit the milestone on Sept. 14, about four months after its disastrous IPO, resulting in a bruising summer of nonstop plummeting stock prices.
Its share price closed around $22 Thursday, up from its lowest at $17.55, but down from $38 when it went public in May.
In an interview on NBC's "Today" show Thursday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg was asked by co-anchor Matt Lauer about how, with 1 billion users, the company wasn't "killing it," making money.
"I think it depends on your definition of 'killing it.'
"I mean we are making billions of dollars," said Zuckerberg, 28.
In its last earnings report, Facebook said revenue rose 32% to $1.18 billion in the second quarter.
But that marked the slowest pace of quarterly revenue growth since the first quarter of 2011 -- the earliest data available.
Facebook's share price and the unending scrutiny of the company have taken a toll on its employees, many of whom had counted on a big post-IPO payday.
Zuckerberg said morale at the company could be better, but that its 4,000 employees remained focused on building and improving Facebook's products.
"We are obviously in a tough cycle now," he said, adding, "that doesn't help morale."
Still, Zuckerberg said that connecting roughly 1 in 7 people on the planet is an unequaled achievement.
"Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life," Zuckerberg said in a blog post.