Thursday was a proud moment for Facebook as they announced that they now have 1 billion monthly active users. CEO and founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg called it “an amazing honor.”

“To be able to come into work every day and build things that help a billion people stay connected with the people they care about every month, that’s just unbelievable,” Zuckerberg said in an exclusive interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer.

On the site, Zuckerberg posted, “Thank you for giving me and my little team the honor of serving you. Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life. I am committed to working every day to make Facebook better for you, and hopefully together one day we will be able to connect the rest of the world too.”

At Bloomberg BusinessWeek in a Q&A with Ashlee Vance, Zuckerberg points out that only other companies in the world with one billion customers are probably Coca-Cola and McDonald’s.

There have been 219 billion photos uploaded, 140.3 billion friend connections and 1.13 trillion likes since the inception of Facebook, according to a statement posted on Facebook’s (FB) web site.

Facebook also announced that 600 million people access the site from their mobile phone and handheld devices as of now.

The website also highlighted that most of the users are coming from India, U.S., Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia and the median age of users currently joining the social network is 22 years old.

New entrepreneurial ventures in technology field start on a daily basis somewhere around the world but only a few of them could make it big with new innovations and customer satisfaction. Let’s take a look at 7 tech companies which experienced phenomenal growth in 2012, as compiled by Fortune Magazine.

1. Cirrus Logic

The company was started in 1984 by Dr. Suhas Patil in Fremont, California. The company supplies high-precision digital & analog signal processing components and supplies to companies such as Sony, Samsung, Philips etc.

The company’s revenues climbed 67% to nearly $370 million in 2011. Company also increased its expenditure on research & development for the third year and to match the same, increased its engineering staff by 26%.

CEO: Jason Rhode

2012 Fastest-Growing rank: 2

Previous rank: 11

 

2. Baidu

Baidu is the largest search engine portal in China with a market share of nearly 80% even after 12 years of its foundation by Robin Li & Eric Xu. The company has also expanded its services to include revenue generating online & e-commerce marketing tools like ‘pay for placement’ (P4P) platform, that let companies create text based ads on their own that appear in search listings.

Company’s earnings rose by 77% to $326 million in 2011.

CEO: Jason Rhode

2012 Fastest-Growing rank: 3

Previous rank: 4

 

3. Apple

Apple was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne on April 1, 1976 in Cupertino, California.

Apple continued to impress its customers with innovative products despite of the passing of Steve Jobs last October. The company launched more innovative products under CEO Tim Cook. Apple’s latest iPhone with voice recognition has sold 5 million units in just 7 days of its launch. Apple is the world’s third-largest mobile phone maker after Samsung and Nokia.

Earnings for 2011 hit $38.6 billion on revenues of $142 billion. Apple became the most valuable company of all time recently, when its market capitalization hit $623 billion in August, 2012.

CEO: Tim Cook

2012 Fastest-Growing rank: 8

Previous rank: 21

 

4. IPG Photonics

The company was started by Dr. Valentin Gapontsev in Russia in 1990. IPG has manufacturing facilities in the United States, Germany, Russia and Italy. It provides high power fiber lasers and fiber amplifiers that are revolutionizing performance and utility in a remarkable array of materials processing, telecommunications, medical and other advanced applications.

Sales grew 59% year-over-year to $474.5 million in 2011. Indeed, sales of the company’s lasers for materials processing applications accounted for nearly 88%
of last year’s sales, and the company expects that trend to continue in the years to come.

CEO: Valentin Gapontsev

2012 Fastest-Growing rank: 9

Previous rank: N.R.

 

5. 3D Systems

The company was founded in 1986 by Chuck Hull. Its headquartered are in Rock Hill, South Carolina. 3D Systems is a global company that develops and sells systems, materials, and software for solid imaging. 3D Systems manufactures technologies that enable 3D printing, a process where three-dimensional data is used to create real-world 3D parts, from smartphone covers to prosthetics Its products are meant to make manufacturing processes more efficient, without requiring tooling.

Sales of 3D Systems jumped 44% year-over-year to $230 million in 2012, with half those sales coming from the U.S., and profits grew to $35 million, even as the company increased spending in global research and development.

CEO: Abe Reichental

2012 Fastest-Growing rank: 12

Previous rank: N.R.

 

6. Priceline

Priceline was founded in 1997 and is the brainchild of digital entrepreneur Jay S. Walker. Priceline.com is an Internet-based transactional service that offers products in two categories: a personal finance service that markets home mortgages, refinancing and home equity loans through an independent licensee and other is travel service that offers leisure airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, packaged vacations and cruises.

Due to large international sales, net income nearly doubled to $1.05 billion last in 2011 compared with the year before.

CEO: Jeffery H. Boyd

2012 Fastest-Growing rank: 14

Previous rank: 12

 

7. Acme Packet

Founded by Patrick J. MeLampy and Andrew D. Ory in 2000, Acme Packet is a Bedford, Massachusetts based company. The company provides session delivery network solutions, which enable the trusted, first-class delivery of next-generation voice, data and unified communications services and applications across IP networks.

Revenues grew by more than double to $307 million from 2009 to 2011, while profits also leapfrogged to $44 million. And as more companies transition away from older legacy technologies with IP-based solutions, Acme Packet expects to capitalize even more in what it in envisions as a $4.5 billion dollar market by 2015.

CEO: Andrew Ory

2012 Fastest-Growing rank: 37

Previous rank: 25

After a year of filing the complaint by Apple Inc., the jury decided that to give a better touch to its smartphones, Samsung used the innovative technology developed by Apple. The decision of jury came on last Friday. The jury also ordered Samsung to pay $1.05 billion to Apple.

Apple Inc. filed the lawsuit in April 2011 and demanded $2.5 billion from its top smartphone competitor for patent infringement. In response, Samsung Electronics Co. fired back with its own lawsuit seeking $399 million from Apple Inc.

The jury rejected all the claims by Samsung, and also a few claims by Apple against Samsung. One of them was Apple claiming two dozen Samsung devices has used features developed by Apple. The number was less so jury declined to award $2.5 billion that Apple demanded. Samsung used several features like ‘bounce-back’ feature and zoom with a finger tap, to say a few.

Apple also demanded that Samsung stop selling its popular smartphones and computer tablets from the U.S. market. Apple and Samsung combined account for more than half of global smartphone sales.

Samsung has emerged as one of Apple’s biggest rivals in recent times and has overtaken Apple as the leading smartphone maker. Samsung’s Galaxy line of phones runs on Android, a mobile operating system that Google Inc. has developed and given out for free to Samsung and other phone makers.

Samsung conceded that Apple makes great products but said it doesn’t have a monopoly on the design of rectangle phones with rounded corners that it claimed it created.

Samsung sold 22.7 million smartphones and tablets that Apple claimed uses its technology. McElhinny said those devices accounted for $8.16 billion in sales since June 2010.

Benefit to other Operating Systems

There is an OS that will be benefitted from this win of Apple over Samsung. This is a major platform in the smartphone market whose look and feel isn’t like that of Apple’s iOS, and there are no chances that it’ll be sued by Apple. It is the Microsoft’s Windows Phone.

Microsoft has just launched Windows 8 for computers, tablets & smartphones. Microsoft will unite its desktop/tablet and phone operating systems with shared code. That means it’ll be very easy for developers to make apps that work across all Windows machines. For any manufacturer that doesn’t want to lose the market, Microsoft promises protection with its Windows 8 platform.

 

Facebook gave a shock to marketers when they announced that nearly 8.7 percent (83 million out of 955 million) of its monthly active user are of no use for marketers as the accounts has been created by people to duplicate their identity or for some other purpose like spamming or are fake or miscategorized. Facebook gave this news during a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

As per the quarterly report of Facebook, people in developed nations have created less duplicate or false accounts as compared to developing nations. So, it is less in United States and Australia but considerably more in Turkey & Indonesia.

Facebook says that they have estimated this number after taking internal review of a limited number of accounts taken as sample. The reviewer who find out fake accounts try to identify names that seems to be fake and other behavior of the account creator that seems to be inappropriate or inauthentic.

Facebook provided updated estimate and details about illegitimate accounts. The number could represent approximately 83 million accounts. Company also told that nearly half of the illegitimate accounts are created by people to duplicate their identity, that is, a person who creates one account for connecting to his family and another account for his acquaintance. Facebook provided these details to US Securities and Exchange Commission in its quarterly filing.

A miscategorised account created by a user for his pet, should be represented by a 'Page'

Have you created a user account for your pet or your company? Well, that comes in miscategorised accounts as per Facebook norms. Facebook estimated that out of total users of the social networking site, nearly 2.4 percent accounts are miscategorised, that is accounts created by people for their businesses, companies and pets. Facebook said that these accounts should not be created in user account but should be represented as pages.

Millions of users have created accounts for spamming purpose also. Facebook’s estimate for this is 1.5 percent of monthly active users. These accounts violate terms & conditions of the social networking site.

No doubt, people are using fake accounts for spamming purposes but the estimate number told by Facebook has given a tension to the marketers who use Facebook to communicate their message to target audience. A music startup company has also claimed that nearly 80 percent of clicks on its Facebook ad campaign came from bots. Facebook says they are looking into the matter and will give a solution for sure.

Whatever the solution may be, Facebook should keep a track of all the Sign Ups that they get, and if found something inappropriate, they should warn the user through their account, or else the number will keep on increasing and the trust of marketers on Facebook will decrease.

Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp., an American multinational provider of information technology, consulting and business process outsourcing (BPO) services, posted strong results for the second quarter with its revenue surpassing that of Infosys.

Cognizant Technology Solutions Office at Chennai, India

Cognizant Technology Solutions Office at Chennai, India

 

As per the report, Cognizant’s June quarter revenue rose by 20.9 per cent from $1.485 billion to $1.795 billion,  in the second quarter of 2011

Its profit during the second quarter rose to $251.9 million which was $208.0 million in the second quarter of 2011.

Its operating margin during the second quarter of this year was at 18.5 per cent.

Francisco D’Souza, Chief Executive Officer of the firm said, “Clients continue to turn to Cognizant to help reinvent their business models in the face of secular industry changes, evolving demographics, and a new stack of social, mobile, analytics, and cloud technologies,” .

“We are well positioned to capitalize on these opportunities due to our unique combination of management consulting and operational capabilities in areas such as large scale program management and change management.  With our robust global delivery model, we make the complexities of managing large scale transformation programs seamless and transparent to our clients,” he added.

Cognizant sees third quarter revenue at $1.875 billion, a sequential growth of over 4 per cent.

Cognizant maintains full-year revenue guidance of “at least 20 per cent growth”, which is far ahead of Nasscom estimates.