Six years after its founding, Internet phenom Facebook has reached an almost incomprehensible milestone: 500 million global users. On July 21, Facebook founder and current CEO/President Mark Zuckerberg made the historic announcement of that achievement and shared examples of how Facebook has changed the lives of countless number of people worldwide.
With some 7.03 billion people living in the world at the moment, just how far can Facebook go before hitting a wall? That’s hard to say as Internet access continues to spread around the world and as users find that Facebook offers to them a way to connect locally, regionally and globally.
Facebook’s meteoric surge hasn’t been without problems. Indeed, privacy remains a concern for some and has led to one group of New York University students to develop a counter platform, one they are calling Diaspora.
But Facebook isn’t likely to be challenged on the social media front at least anytime soon. Indeed, Facebook is easily the most visited website on the web according to Hitwise, having passed Google earlier this year and now commanding 9.16 percent of all website visits in the United States. Google is second at 7.45 percent, about double the third place finisher, Yahoo!
What Google, MSN (Bing) and Yahoo need to watch out for is losing people to Facebook who might avoid search engines altogether. While there are certainly some people who spend most if not all of their Internet time on Facebook instead of visiting other sites, Facebook doesn’t have the reach of Google Search, at least not yet. Sure, you can find news, consumer information and other details on Facebook, but it isn’t at the point where search engines can be completely avoided.
However, if Facebook continues to appeal to companies like the Ford Motor Company who reveal their products (2011 Ford Explorer) through this site, whose to say that eventually a significant portion of web users will simply make Facebook their “go to” source for everything?
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