Why did Royal Pingdom, an uptime monitoring service, choose the year 2004 as the year of comparison? Well, many tend to forget that Facebook is just a seven-year-old company: it was founded in February 2004.
The firm points out Facebook's active user base is:
38 percent of the entire current Internet population
87 percent of the Internet population of Asia
168 percent of the Internet population of Europe
294 percent of the Internet population of North America
370 percent of the Internet population of Latin America
674 percent of the Internet population of Africa
1,167 percent of the Internet population of the Middle East
3,757 percent of the Internet population of Oceania / Australia
After Facebook passes 1 billion users, the next milestone will be eclipsing India, and then China. If Facebook was a country, it would be the world's third largest, by population. We're not talking Internet population here (as is the case in the bulleted list above) – we're comparing Facebook's population to a country's total population.
Many websites only report the cumulative number of members that sign up for their service, which does not take into account inactive accounts. Facebook's user count metric is much better as it is defined as a user who has logged in within the last 30 days. While this does not eliminate the issue of one person having multiple accounts, it still makes Facebook's numbers more impressive.