Facebook Closes In On 500 Million Users

    May 17, 2010

In early February, Facebook announced that it had 400 million users, and while nothing’s certain at this point, it looks like an announcement regarding the next big milestone may be just around the corner.  A new report has indicated that Facebook expects to lay claim to 500 million users in June.

Nick O’Neill wrote earlier today, "Facebook is working on plans for their 500 million user celebration, projected to take place at some point before the end of June."  He also wrote, "We’ve spoken with multiple sources that have informed us that plans are underway for the big 500 million user celebration."

A celebration seems very appropriate.  Facebook’s rate of growth has been extraordinary, and as the company fine-tunes its monetization strategies, these sorts of gains might translate into lots of cash.  Also, if Facebook’s still being criticized over its privacy policies when it crosses the 500 million user mark, this would count as a major PR win.

Now, care to do a little apples-to-oranges comparison to put that huge number in perspective?  Facebook’s user base will in fact be getting hard to compare to real-world populations, landing in an awkward spot between the U.S. and India.  So how’s this instead: 500 million is about equal to the combined populations of Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.

It’s hard not to figure that Facebook’s user base will match a significantly bigger chunk of the world before long, either.