The official word came yesterday that Facebook has surpassed 500 million users. Certainly no small feat. Its effects are yet to be realized, but nobody will see it as anything short of revolutionary.
Just a few short years ago the average person was afraid to post personal information on sites like MySpace for fear they would have their identity (or their children) stolen. Facebook helped get the ball rolling into the next phase of the internet—which ties our real self to our online self.
That gap will only continue to shrink to sizes so small that we can’t even conceive it yet.
If Facebook continues to lead the way, they’ll have to stay the course that they’ve set and not lose sight of what their site is really about—the people.
I was encouraged to see that the announcement from Mark Zuckerberg about the user milestone included an emphasis on the people and their stories.
I was a late-comer into the world of “social networking sites.” Twitter was the first one that I joined and the reason I’m still around is because of the community.
Facebook, like Twitter, will only expand if the communities stay strong and people use the sites effectively. And yes, there’s plenty of room for expansion—after all, 500 million people isn’t even 10% of the world’s population.