Facebook Hits 500 Million Users After 6 Short Years

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It's no big surprise, but Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, officially announced his service had reached 500 million active users. As part of the announcement, the company launched a new "stories" app that lets people tell Facebook awesome things about Facebook. Most of the entries are maudlin at best, and it seems like about three-quarters of them are about (re)meeting the love of a life. Some users, though, are using the service in more interesting, or at least funnier, ways. User Eduarda Scissorhands had this to say:

I'm from West Philadelphia, where things are somewhat rough. One day, after school, I was just hanging out with some friends and playing some basketball on the playground. But then, on this particular day, some guys decided to cause some trouble in the neighborhood. We had a skirmish, and it frightened my mother. She informed me that I was moving in with my aunt and uncle in Bel Air, California.

(If you don't recognize it, Scissorhands is retelling the Fresh Prince of Bel Air origin story.)

Read the full story at Facebook.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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