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Maybe your being “cool” by not joining the phenomenon that is Facebook, apparently people like you are few and far between. Out of 6.5857 billion people on the planet, 0.5 billion of us are active users of the largest social network in the world. So what does ‘active users’ actually mean ? To be an active user you must have logged into Facebook at least once in the past month. Keep in mind, using the Like button that features on many sites across the web will also count as being ‘Active’. Add to that the fact that many people pipe their twitter feeds into Facebook and you start to get an appreciate the number isn’t perhaps as big as it first seems.
With that said, there’s no doubt this milestone is a massive one. Facebook is now a potential advertising juggernaut, one that Google is no doubt watching with caution. The ability to monetize product advertisement that is recommended by a trusted friend or colleague over a generic Adsense ad is immense. We’ve heard stories about Google launching their own social network to try and capitalize on this same principal, but with a 500 million active user head start it seems like an insurmountable task.
Personally Facebook Connect has become my default way of logging into sites wherever its available. Remembering usernames and passwords to the hundreds of sites I have connections with is simply not practical. Sharing photos, videos, stories and status updates with friends is a daily event, something that I get a lot of value from, so to me its not at all surprising Facebook is as popular as it is.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg explains the key to Facebook is its users and the connections they create across their networks. To celebrate the 500 million active user milestone, Facebook are launching a new application called Facebook Stories. Essentially this allows users to discover the Facebook experiences of others or submit your own.
There’s not many in Australia, so lets represent and get submitting!
More @ Facebook Blog