Facebook touches 500 million users mark

FacebookPopular social networking site, Facebook has announced on Wednesday that it has touched 500 million active monthly users mark. Now the site might be getting ready to reach whooping 1 billion users mark next year.

If the site continues to grow at its current pace it would easily touch the 1 billion users mark in 2011. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg and a few Harvard classmates in 2004 and it reached 250 million users within five years.

The founder and CEO said that it is sure that the site will reach the one billion mark however it is not known when. Some experts now say that the company which still remains a private company might now consider an initial public stock offering.

"As of this morning, 500 million people all around the world are actively using Facebook to stay connected with their friends and the people around them," Zuckerberg said on Facebook's blog Wednesday. "Now a lot more people have the opportunity to stay connected with the people they care about."

In order to mark the event, Facebook has asked its users to share stories about how the site has affected their lives and contribute them in a new feature called Facebook Stories. Users will be able to access Facebook Stories right in the app and the collection of stories can be accessed by using interactive map-based Location navigation or by clicking icons on Theme-based listing.

Facebook has seen problems relating to changes it made to the privacy settings in recent months. Many users around the world protested the changes and threatened to leave the site if the changes are not reversed.

The site remains blocked in china while in countries with large populations like India, Russia and Brazil the penetration is still low. The site also faces ban in countries including Vietnam and Pakistan which counters its growth.