Facebook passes 500 million user milestone

July 21st, 2010 by Chris Hogg Leave a reply »



It’s official: Facebook has announced it has reached the half-billion member milestone. The news has been expected for some time now, but CEO Mark Zuckerberg made it official in a blog post today.



According to the post made on Facebook’s corporate blog today, Facebook now has 500 million people around the world who are actively using the site. “This is an important milestone for all of you who have helped spread Facebook around the world,” said Zuckerberg in the post. “Now a lot more people have the opportunity to stay connected with the people they care about.”



In February, Facebook announced it had about 400 million members. Since then it has added between 20 and 25 million users per month to reach today’s milestone. In the last 18 months, Facebook has tripled in size.



As a way to mark the milestone, Zuckerberg launched a site called Facebook Stories. Users can upload their thoughts on how the service has affected their lives. It also boasts a message of thanks from Facebook employees. Facebook Stories can be categorized by themes and locations around the world.

“Our mission at Facebook is to help make the world more open and connected,” Zuckerberg wrote. “Stories like these are examples of that mission and are both humbling and inspiring. I could have never imagined all of the ways people would use Facebook when we were getting started six years ago.”



Facebook’s rise to 500 million users has not been without ups and downs. The company has been repeatedly slammed for the way its handled privacy features; Zuckerberg was criticized for reportedly calling early users who trusted Facebook with their data “dumb f**cks”; its faced countless lawsuits (here’s the most recent); a few books have been written on the company (here’s an excerpt); the story of Facebook is being made into a movie to be released in the fall (here’s the trailer); and Facebook isn’t doing well as far as customer satisfaction goes, a new survey reports.



For all the bad press, Facebook has earned a lot of great publicity as well. It recently launched a slew of social features that will redefine the Web, and media organizations have flocked to facebook’s social and sharing features as a way to increase their exposure.



Ending his blog post announcement on the 500-million mark, Zuckerberg writes, “I want to thank you for being part of making Facebook what it is today and for spreading it around the world.”



To show its appreciation to users, Facebook put together this thank-you card.

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