Facebook boasts almost 1 billon users

Facebook has reported its first quarterly results since going public 90 days ago, detailing huge losses, but rising membership numbers that have rattled Wall Street.

According to the social network's own numbers, Facebook now boasts almost a 1 billion users (955m) around the world, but that hasn't stopped revenue sliding as people struggle to wonder and appreciate the value of advertising with the company.

Earnings during the period were a healthy $1.18bn, with a loss of $157m. However analysts aren't sure whether this buoyant number is down to the huge amount of publicity following the IPO or because Facebook is performing better than expectations through hard work.

Naysayers are also sounding caution on the actual membership numbers, with many claiming that the 1 billion is inflated by bogus or derelict accounts rather than active users viewing and clicking on adverts.

Facebook admits that while sign-ups are up 29 per cent from a year ago, the number of daily active users -members who log in at least once a day - is almost half that number at 552 million.

The rate that Facebook has been adding monthly and daily active users has slowed steadily from this time two years ago when the numbers were more than doubling.

The news sent Facebook shares down 11 per cent in after-hours trading, hitting a low of around $23 before gaining back some ground to finish around the $26 point. That is still a long way off the $38 IPO price point.

The news follows Zygna's awful quarter earnings report, which was also this week. It's share price has fallen 68 per cent since its IPO. The social gaming company behind games like Cityville and Farmville blamed changes by Facebook that has made its games harder to find.