When we previously covered Facebook’s impeding 500 million user celebration, we projected the event to take place at some point toward the end of June. However according to sources inside the company, it’s expected to occur in mid-July and may officially be announced a few days after the milestone is crossed.
At this point it’s difficult for Facebook to put their finger on the exact number of users at any given minute, but they will be able to confidently state when the milestone has been surpassed. We’ve heard from a number of sources that Facebook is working on celebration plans that all users can participate in, potentially including a virtual gift, something they released when they surpassed 200 million.
We’ve also confirmed that the company is actively engaged in plans to release other possible projects to celebrate the 500 million user milestone. While we’ll find out what those projects are in the next few weeks, mid-July is now officially the time frame for the 500 million user announcement.
So has the company’s growth slowed? Possibly, but we don’t think it’s a significant slow down in growth. The company surpassed 350 million users back in December, which means Facebook’s 6-month doubling phase, which previously catapulted the company beyond most other internet sites, has come to an end. However the growth is still staggering and there’s no doubt that Facebook could easily surpass 600 million before the year is over.
Due to Facebook’s distributed system, it will be practically impossible to determine exactly who the 500 millionth user is, however they will be able to narrow it down to a chunk of users. When it comes to the grand milestone of 1 billion users, Facebook will probably have to wait at least until the end of 2011, if not 2012. Whenever that happens, we’ll be here marking the monumental milestone.