Facebook is well on its way to a billion users. But a sizable percentage of its membership consists of spammers, duplicates, and misclassified accounts, Facebook disclosed today.
As of the end of June, there were more than 950 million active users on Facebook.
But not all of those users are real, Facebook disclosed in a public filing this week. According to Facebook, 8.7 percent of Facebook accounts – a whopping 83 million profiles – are bots, fakes, or otherwise illegitimate. Facebook breaks down the numbers like this: 1.5 percent are bots or spammers. 4.8 percent are duplicates. And 2.4 percent are misclassified – businesses registered as people, for instance.
As John P. Mello Jr. of PC World notes, the numbers mark a "substantial increase over figures released by the company in March. Then it estimated that from five to six percent, or 42.25 million to 50.70 million, of 845 million monthly active accounts were bogus," Mello adds. Which is to be expected. The more Facebook grows – it is widely expected to hit the one billion user mark by the end of 2012 – the more chaff it acquires.