Facebook Hits 1B Users, Still Searching for the Money

Mark Zuckerberg acknowledges 'tough cycle'

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 4, 2012 10:07 AM CDT

(Newser) – Facebook has crossed the 1 billion mark, Mark Zuckerberg announced today in an appearance on the Today show in which he nonetheless acknowledged that his 8-year-old company is "in a tough cycle now." The milestone means that one in every seven people uses the site, notes Fast Company, but the heat is on for Facebook to find a way to better monetize its service, and it's got a new plan: Charge US users to promote certain posts. The $7 service, currently being tested, would give users pride of place on their friends' news feeds. That price could change, says a rep.

Some are skeptical of the policy: Would users be willing to pay for a key aspect of Facebook? "I know it’s just a test, but it doesn’t send the right message," says an analyst. "Charging for something so generic doesn’t make sense." New Zealand and other countries, however, have had the pay-to-promote service for months. Zuckerberg today posted a note of thanks to users over the 1 billion milestone.

Here's the new feature.
Here's the new feature.   (AP Photo/Facebook)
In this Sept. 11, 2012 photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a fireside chat at a conference organized by technology blog TechCrunch in San Francisco.
In this Sept. 11, 2012 photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a "fireside chat" at a conference organized by technology blog TechCrunch in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
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