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Facebook hits 500 million users milestone

File photo of the Facebook homepage.

File photo of the Facebook homepage. (Credit: AP)

Facebook has finally hit the inevitable 500 million active users. Mark Zuckerberg announced the milestone via his Facebook blog Wednesday morning.

To celebrate the plateau, Facebook is launching an application that allows users to share stories on how Facebook has impacted their lives.

Some of the user stories that already have been submitted 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.

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.

Despite an increasing number of social networks competing with Facebook, some experts believe the social media giant could hit the 1 billion mark sooner than the 500 million number. Facebook continues to gain traction in other parts of the world, most notably South America, Europe, and China where Okrit, Friendster, and tuenti have traditionally been popular.

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