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Facebook hits half a billion users

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Saturday July 24, 2010 )

On Wednesday, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced 500 million people are actively using his social networking service.

It’s a remarkable achievement and works out to one in 14 people in the world using Facebook. Even more remarkable is the fact it’s only been around for the last 6 years. Facebook was launched in February 2004 and at that point in time only offered limited membership.

Orginally called TheFacebook, membership was initially only available to Harvard College students, then expanded to most universities in Canada and the United States. Up until that stage, MySpace ruled the roost when it came to membership numbers.

In 2005, “the” was dropped from the domain name after was purchased for USD $200,000. Facebook membership was opened to the world in 2006 – and MySpace was dropped like a hot potato by many folks who made the exodus to Facebook.

According to Facebook’s (now outdated) statistics page, the average Facebook user creates 70 pieces of content each month and around 70% of Facebook users live outside the United States. 50% of active users log on to Facebook in any given day and people spend over 500 billion minutes per month on Facebook. That works out to 964,506 human years spent on Facebook each and every month – an incredible (and somewhat frightening) bit of trivia.

There are over 550,000 active applications currently on the Facebook Platform and over one million web sites have integrated with the platform. In excess of 150 million people interact with Facebook on external websites every month, using applications such as the “like” and “find us on Facebook” buttons.

In other words, if you haven’t set up a Facebook page for your online business yet, it’s really time you should – it’s not that hard to do. Don’t forget to add the “Find us on Facebook” button and/or like button on your web site’s pages once you do.


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