Facebook hits 500 million users mark

Half a billion users as Zuckerberg says a billion is "almost guaranteed".

Facebook has confirmed that it now has an eye-watering 500 million users. Official figures, released last night, show that of those half a billion punters, 250 million use the site every single day.

The average Facebook fanatic spends 34 minutes a day trawling the network, whether it’s for checking out mates photos or stalking old school pals. What’s more, 150 million now hit Facebook via their phone.

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The 500 million figure had been expected for some time. Just last month founder Mark Zuckerberg said reaching a billion was “almost guaranteed.” All this in the face of growing controversy of the site’s privacy policy and a string of lawsuits dogging the youthful CEO.

Zuckerberg's video announcement of Facebook's 500 million users achievement (below) turned much of the focus away from the staggering figure and to the next step for the Facebook brand, Facebook Stories. The new stories site will allow Facebook users to share the ways in which the social networking site has influenced their lives and brought them together with people around the world.

Russia, Japan and China are the only major countries in the world where Facebook is not the number one social network. It doesn’t seem like Facey-B’s star is about to fade like rivals MySpace and Bebo.

If you’re not already, be sure to be our friend on Facebook and get all the latest gadget news direct to your home page. If that’s not your thing, then why now follow us on Twitter instead.

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