Joanna Shields, VP EMEA at Facebook, stated today that the popular social network now has 30 million UK users, equating to almost half of the UK population.

The figure is huge. To put it in perspective, 30.1 million adults in the UK (60 per cent) accessed the Internet every day or almost every day in 2010, so if you add in the fact that there are 30 million people on Facebook, a very high percentage of internet-connected people in the UK are making Facebook a must-visit website.

Shields, speaking at the Financial Times’ Digital Media and Broadcasting Conference in London, noted that half of UK users visit the site every day, whilst discussing the future of Facebook’s platform and direction.

Facebook is a big hit in Europe too; France now has 20 million users in France and 16 million in Italy, demonstrating the reach that the social network now has.

Stating that Facebook was “not a media company” but “a platform to enable engagement between people”, the Facebook VP highlighted that The Independent experienced a 700% increase in traffic from Facebook’s comment system, with over one million people posting to to the site during one X Factor show.

Facebook’s growth shows no sign of slowing, as the company keeps introducing new features and services, the number of registered users across Europe will continue to rise substantially.