Facebook set to hit milestone today - 200 millionth user

Social networking site celebrates by teaming up with 16 charities and advocacy groups

Just a few months after its fifth anniversary, Facebook Inc. Wednesday is set to welcome its 200 millionth user.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a blog post Wednesday morning [US time] that the social networking site is on track to welcome its 200 millionth user before the day is out. To celebrate, the company has hooked up with 16 charities and advocacy groups that have created virtual gifts that users can buy for each other. Zuckerberg noted that 90% to 95% of the proceeds go to the charities with the rest going toward administrative costs. None of it, he added, goes to Facebook.

"More broadly, technology has made it easier and faster for people across the world to share more and more -- from the daily activities of their lives to events that impact their communities," wrote Zuckerberg. "At Facebook, we want to build the best service in the world for people to connect with and share everything that is important to them, whether day-to-day or world-changing."

Facebook, which celebrated its fifth anniversary on Feb. 4, has stormed past rival MySpace.com, the pioneer of the social networking phenomenon, in monthly page-view counts. Facebook, once thought of as the up-and-coming social network, had almost 222 million unique visitors in December, while MySpace came in at 125 million.

"Growing rapidly to 200 million users is a really good start, but we've always known that in order for Facebook to help people represent everything that is happening in their world, everyone needs to have a voice," wrote Zuckerberg. "Creating channels between people who want to work together towards change has always been one of the ways that social movements push the world forward and make it better."

As part of the celebration Wednesday, Zuckerberg also announced the creation of the Facebook for Good space on the site. The page, which already has more than 600 fans, was designed as a place where people can share stories of how the social networking site has helped them reconnect with people, give back to their community or make a contribution.

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Computerworld (US) staff

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