Science

Facebook reaches 500 million users

The social networking site Facebook now has more than 500 million users around the world, including nearly half of all Canadians.

The social networking site Facebook now has more than 500 million users around the world.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced the latest user statistics in a blog post Wednesday.

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

"Now a lot more people have the opportunity to stay connected with the people they care about."

He announced that to celebrate, Facebook is compiling a collection of stories about the impact Facebook has had on people's lives, through a new application called Facebook Stories.

The company has also put together a photo album with its messages of thanks.

Facebook has more than 15.7 million users in Canada, according to Nick Gonzalez, a web analyst specializing in social media. That's nearly half Canada's population, which Statistics Canada reported as 33.7 million in 2009.

Launched out of dorm room

Gonzalez pulls user statistics from Facebook's advertising tool onto the website CheckFacebook.com daily.

The latest numbers show that the top three countries for Facebook users are the U.S., U.K. and Indonesia, with 129 million, 27 million and 26 million users respectively.

The site launched in February 2004 out of the dorm room shared by Zuckerberg and his college roommates at Harvard University.

At that time, Zuckerberg wrote in Wednesday's blog, "I could have never imagined all of the ways people would use Facebook."

The numbers alone don't indicate how much people use or like the site.

Facebook scored 64 out of 100 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index's E-Business Report, an annual survey conducted by the University of Michigan and research firm ForeSee Results.

The result puts Facebook in the bottom five per cent of all measured companies, below IRS e-filers and at the same level as airlines and cable companies, which perpetually score low.

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