Inside Facebook have published a report highlighting the dizzying growth in social media.  According to their figures Facebook alone is showing growth of over 500,000 members a day.

The report highlights a recent acceleration in the already meteoric rise in usage during this quarter. Amazing given that in the first quarter of the year the talks was of a slow down in growth and debate was all about whether the social networking bubble had burst.

It would appear such talk was premature after Facebook made constant efforts in 2008 to listen to it's users and eliminate the things that were turning people away from the site (most prominently application spam).

According to Inside Facebook :

It was just at the beginning of December when Facebook crossed the 130 million monthly active user mark. Today, that number is up to 140 million.

While Facebook has been growing at around 300,000 to 400,000 active users per day for most of the fourth quarter (based on our estimations), its growth rate seems to have significantly increased in recent weeks to 600,000 or perhaps even 700,000 new users each day.

If Facebook continues at this rate, it could add up to 20 million new users in December and reach 200 million active users by March. Keep in mind however that about 70% of that growth is happening outside the United States.

The final paragraph is particularly interesting though because the United States is seen as the key market and it is there that Facebook's chief rival, MySpace is strongest.

The report comes at the same time as people are debating the actual worth of the company. Despite it's massive userbase and impressive turnover of 300 million it is still a loss making organisation. This is primarily because it is traditionally seen as under-monetarised. This may well be part it's appeal but recent efforts have been made to improve the site's profitability including more pay per click advertising space and an attempt to relaunch it's Marketplace application that has seen the company join forces with US Classifieds giant Oodle.

Whatever the financial bottom line the growth figures will make excellent reading to analysts and shareholders alike.

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