Facebook hits 500 million users

chart_facebook_2.top.gif By Julianne Pepitone, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Facebook's population is now larger than that of the U.S., Mexico and France combined.

The world's largest social networking site announced Wednesday that it has hit a widely anticipated milestone, signing up its 500 millionth user.

In a blog post, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said he "could have never imagined all of the ways people would use Facebook when we were getting started 6 years ago." In a video message, Zuckerberg thanked Facebook users and told them "you really have created a worldwide movement."

To show off its international reach, Facebook launched a new application Wednesday called Facebook Stories. The app lets users recount their own stories and read others' posts, filtered by theme and geographic location.

The speed with which Facebook hit the 500 million mark is a sign of its accelerating growth. Launched in early 2004, it took Facebook nearly four years to add its first 100 million users, but only five months to add its most recent batch. Around 70% of the current user base for the Palo Alto, Calif., company now comes from outside the U.S. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,678.23 -40.31 -0.23%
Nasdaq 4,863.36 -13.16 -0.27%
S&P 500 2,056.15 -4.90 -0.24%
Treasuries 2.01 0.09 4.53%
Data as of 4:12am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 15.42 0.01 0.06%
Cisco Systems Inc 27.09 -0.37 -1.35%
Apple Inc 124.24 0.86 0.70%
Intel Corp 30.08 0.19 0.64%
Micron Technology In... 26.66 0.09 0.34%
Data as of Mar 26
Sponsors

Sections

Lots of attention is paid to college graduation rates of lower-income students, but many middle-class kids don't finish their bachelor's degrees either. More

Oculus chief scientist Michael Abrash uses 'The Matrix' to pitch virtual reality at F8, Facebook developer conference. More

Startup PredictifyMe's groundbreaking technology could help protect against school bombings More

The IRS has paid out more than $191 billion in refunds so far this tax season to 66.1 million filers. More