Facebook Hits 1 Billion Users, Hires Iñárritu To Make Commercial Comparing It to Chairs

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Oct. 4 2012 9:47 AM

Facebook Hits 1 Billion Users, Hires Iñárritu To Make Commercial Comparing It to Chairs

Facebook is celebrating its milestone with a commercial directed by Alejandro G. Inarritu.

Screenshot / Facebook

It's been a while since Facebook has had cause to publicly celebrate. The company's IPO in May was a fiasco, and its stock shows no signs of recovering. Meanwhile, concerns over user privacy have escalated, and there's a sense that the company is not as popular with the kids as it once was.

Today, however, the company is taking a victory lap after hitting a major milestone: one billion monthly active users worldwide. Mark Zuckerberg announced the feat in a post on his timeline Thursday morning, saying, perhaps with a touch of humblebrag, that "it's a moment to honor the people we serve."


And how is it honoring these billion people? By making its first ever commercial. The spot, put together by the Portland-based ad agency Wieden and Kennedy, was directed by lauded Mexican filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu and scored by the band Explosions in the Sky. It will be translated into 12 different languages and be shown to users in 13 countries, including the developing countries that account for much of Facebook's current growth: Brazil, India, Indonesia, and Mexico. The ad compares Facebook to chairs.

The campaign comes at a time when Facebook is rolling out one potential money-making feature after another in an attempt to capitalize on those billion users. I wrote about the latest, a scheme to charge people for "promoted posts" guaranteed to reach more of their friends, here.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer.


Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 12:29 PM A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

Subprime Loans Are Back

And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

  News & Politics
Sept. 22 2014 6:30 PM What Does It Mean to Be an American? Ted Cruz and Scott Brown think it’s about ideology. It’s really about culture.
Sept. 22 2014 5:38 PM Apple Won't Shut Down Beats Music After All (But Will Probably Rename It)
Dear Prudence
Sept. 23 2014 6:00 AM Naked and Afraid Prudie offers advice on whether a young boy should sleep in the same room with his nude grandfather.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 7:43 PM Emma Watson Threatened With Nude Photo Leak for Speaking Out About Women's Equality
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
Sept. 23 2014 7:14 AM Fighting the Sophomore Slump, Five Novels at a Time Announcing the Slate/Whiting Second Novel List.
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 6:27 PM Should We All Be Learning How to Type in Virtual Reality?
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 23 2014 7:00 AM I Stand with Emma Watson
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.