Recently, there have been a lot of questions as to whether Facebook has crossed the 600 million user mark. Goldman Sachs is reportedly telling potential Facebook investors that the social network currently has 600 million monthly active users. But Facebook statistics portal Socialbakers (formerly known as Facebakers until Facebook strongly urged the startup to change its name) pegs Facebook’s user base at 596,372,520 members.
So how did Socialbakers arrive at this number? Co-founder Jan Rezab says that the startup aggregates information from Facebook’s advertising tool. If you try to create an ad via Facebook Advertising, you can choose to target users by location. Facebook will show you how many of its members are in that location. Using that method, the U.S. has 146,591,880 million members according to Socialbakers. Socialbakers then aggregates that data for every country that Facebook is available in each day and adds the user numbers together.
As we wrote in late December, Facebook is currently the third largest website in the world, according to comScore. Facebook drew an estimated 648 million unique visitors from across the globe in November 2010. Of course, Socialbakers is counting registered members and comScore simple counts unique visits (which can include members and non-members).
Socialbakers also reveals that the top gaining countries in the last 6 months which contributed most to this milestone were USA (+20.7 million new users), India (+8.3 million new users), Indonesia (+8 million new users), Philippines (+6.2 million users) and Mexico (+5.8 million new users).
The startup claims this Facebook data is up-to-date. We’ve sent Facebook PR an email and will update when we hear back.
Update: This completely anecdotal, but we received a tip from a reader claiming to be a former Facebook employee, who says Facebook passed 600 million members late last year. Hmmm.