fb icon2 300x249 Facebook Hits 500 Million Active Users

Facebook has just announced that they now have 500 million active users, a substantial percentage of the world, and far more total users than the US has citizens. Using the most recent world population estimates, 7.4% of all people in the world, are active Facebook users.

To celebrate the event, Facebook is launching a new mini-application called Facebook Stories where users can upload and share their personal Facebook tales with other users. How popular this will be remains to be seen, but it little important next to Facebook finally hitting the big 500.

Many in the technology world have noted that Facebook’s growth on a compounding scale has slowed, meaning that it’s growth curve has become linear. That is likely not a long-term problem for the company, but it does point to a more mature product. With now 500 million active users and a steadily growing userbase, can anyone stop the Facebook juggernaut?

This accomplishment puts Facebook in large perspective compared to the rest of the social internet. When you measure any other social website to Facebook’s behemoth size, note that this is 500 million active users, not total accounts, how they can do anything but pale? Even more with Facebook’s open graph, the company is digging itself deeper into the foundation of the internet, and bringing the weight of its nearly endless traffic along with it. Facebook, is a giant.

Finally, if you look at Facebook’s revenue, the guesses of its size that float around, and pick 1 billion USD for 2010, you can do the math simply and realize that Facebook brings in $2 per user, per year. Given that Facebook is still growing by hundreds of thousands of people a day, that means there revenue is growing by twice that, daily. The numbers are staggering.

Facebook’ Zuckerberg took the time to record a video on its achievement:

Facebook’s statement says the following:

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.

This is an important milestone for all of you who have helped spread Facebook around the world. Now a lot more people have the opportunity to stay connected with the people they care about.

To celebrate, we’ve put together a collection of stories you’ve shared with us about the impact Facebook and your friends have had on your lives.

We’re launching a new application called Facebook Stories where you can share your own story and read hundreds of others, categorized by themes and locations around the world. These stories include:

  • Ben Saylor, a 17-year-old high school student, who turned to Facebook to organize a community effort to rebuild the Pioneer Playhouse, the oldest outdoor theater in Kentucky, after it was damaged by floods in May.
  • Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who, during his time in office, would go jogging with 100 of his fans from Facebook.
  • Holly Rose, a mother in Phoenix, who credits a friend’s status message telling women to check for breast cancer with her being diagnosed in time to treat the disease. She used Facebook for support during treatment and became a prevention advocate herself.

Our mission at Facebook is to help make the world more open and connected. Stories like these are examples of that mission and are both humbling and inspiring. I could have never imagined all of the ways people would use Facebook when we were getting started 6 years ago.

I want to thank you for being part of making Facebook what it is today and for spreading it around the world.

To show our appreciation, all of us at Facebook have put together a photo album with ourmessages of thanks. I hope you enjoy it, and please keep sharing your stories with us.