Facebook membership hits 500 million mark

One in every 14 people on the planet has now signed up to the Facebbok.

Last Updated: Jul 22, 2010, 09:36 AM IST

San Francisco: The number of people using Facebook hit the 500 million mark, meaning one in every 14 people on the planet has now signed up to the online social-networking service.

"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," Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has said in a blog post.

"This is an important milestone for all of you who have helped spread Facebook around the world."

To celebrate, the California firm introduced an application that lets members of the online community "tell the incredible stories of the moving and interesting ways
they`ve used Facebook."

Examples given by Zuckerberg included NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen jogging with Facebook fans during his term as Danish prime minister and a US woman using the service to battle breast cancer.

"Our mission at Facebook is to help make the world more open and connected," Zuckerberg said.

"I could have never imagined all of the ways people would use Facebook when we were getting started 6 years ago."

Zuckerberg has pointed to Facebook`s unrelenting growth to rebuff criticism of feature changes or privacy safeguards at the website.

Americans are increasingly obsessed with Facebook and many young women check their page even before using the bathroom in the morning, according to a poll released last
week.

However, a US study released on Tuesday indicates that while people may be addicted to Facebook they rank it near the bottom when it comes to customer satisfaction.

Facebook landed with notoriously despised airlines and cable television companies in the bottom 5 percent of private companies ranked in a 2010 American Customer Satisfaction
Index E-Business Report produced in partnership with ForeSee Results.

"Our research shows that privacy concerns, frequent changes to the website, and commercialisation and advertising adversely affect the consumer experience," ForeSee chief executive Larry Freed said in a release.

Zuckerberg openly advocates Internet firms releasing innovations quickly and "iterating" with improvements.

"It`s clear that while innovation is critical, sometimes consumers prefer evolution to revolution," Freed said.

Facebook recently overhauled privacy controls in the face of a barrage of criticism that it is betraying the trust which has made it the world`s biggest social network.

PTI