Facebook hits 1 billion users in one day

The social network has recorded 1 billion logins during a single day, with Mark Zuckerberg labelling the moment an 'important milestone'.

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced that the social network on Monday saw 1 billion users log in during the course of a single day.

"We just passed an important milestone. For the first time ever, 1 billion people used Facebook in a single day," Zuckerberg said on Thursday afternoon.

"On Monday, one in seven people on Earth used Facebook to connect with their friends and family.

"When we talk about our financials, we use average numbers, but this is different. This was the first time we reached this milestone, and it's just the beginning of connecting the whole world."

Earlier on Thursday, Facebook announced in a blog post that it would begin testing an artificial intelligence (AI) "digital assistant" called M, which will sit inside the company's Messenger app.

"Today, we're beginning to test a new service called M. M is a personal digital assistant inside of Messenger that completes tasks and finds information on your behalf. It's powered by artificial intelligence that's trained and supervised by people," said David Marcus, head of messaging at Facebook.

"Unlike other AI-based services in the market, M can actually complete tasks on your behalf. It can purchase items, get gifts delivered to your loved ones, book restaurants, travel arrangements, appointments, and way more."

M will join the already crowded field that includes competitors Siri from Apple, and new entrant Cortana from Microsoft.

Last month, the social networking giant unveiled a drone powered by solar energy that will be used to provide internet connectivity in remote regions as part of its Internet.org project.

The lightweight carbon-fibre Aquila drone, which has the wingspan of a Boeing 737, can remain airborne for 90 days at an altitude of 60,000 to 90,000 feet. It will provide 3G access to the 10 percent of the world without any internet connectivity.

Once launched, Facebook's drones will share data between each other through a laser that can relay dozens of gigabytes per second of data.

"When finished, our laser communications system can be used to connect our aircraft with each other and with the ground, making it possible to create a stratospheric network that can extend to even the remotest regions of the world," Jay Parikh, VP of global engineering and infrastructure at Facebook, said in July.

In its earnings update last month, Facebook said monthly active users grew 13 percent from a year ago to $1.49 billion. Net income was reported as being $719 million, or 25 cents per share, and non-GAAP earnings were 50 cents per share on revenues of $4.04 billion, up 39 percent year on year.

The company's mobile business grew by 23 percent for the year to June 30, to 1.31 billion users, while mobile advertising brought in 76 percent of total advertising revenue.

"A more open and connected world is a better world. It brings stronger relationships with those you love, a stronger economy with more opportunities, and a stronger society that reflects all of our values," Zuckerberg added on Thursday.

With AAP