Facebook closes in on 1 billion users, but profits dip

Plus: Company reveals it shelled out $300m in cash + 23m shares for Instagram

It's no longer a case of if it'll happen this year, but when. Facebook is closing in on the 1 billion user mark at a frightening pace. The current official figure stands at 901 million

Facebook is fast approaching an astonishing active user base of one billion.

The company revealed that 901m million members now use the service every month, which is up 32 per cent on the figure from the same period last year, when the company had 680m active users.

If that rate of growth continues it may be announcing its billionth active user by the time the Olympic Games get underway in July.

Perhaps even more telling is that 525m of those members, over half, are visiting Facebook every single day through their web browser or connected device.

However, it isn't all good news for the social networking giant. the financial report, filed to the SEC in the United States in preparation for its forthcoming IPO, showed profits are down from $233m (£144m) to $205m (£127m) on the same period last year, dragged down increased marketing and R&D costs, while revenue also took a slight hit based on Q4 2011.

The other noteworthy morcel from the filing shows that Facebook forked over $300m (£186m) in cold-hard cash for the Instagram photo-sharing app earlier this month. In the billion dollar deal, the company also promised Kevin Systrom and co 23 million shares in Facebook, each thought to be worth around $30 a pop.

The IPO, which will see Facebook forgo its rights as a private company and, for better or worse, begin answering to stockholders, is rumoured to be taking place towards the end of next month, with the 17th and 24th May being thrown around as potential dates for the great floatation.

Via: TechRadar