The Facebook phenomenon officially reached the 100 million milestone today – that's almost the equivalent of double the population of England sitting at home conducting their social lives without whispering a word out loud.
It's reached that figure in four and a half years – 50 per cent longer than MySpace took. And for all the coverage that Facebook garners, most indications suggest that MySpace is, in the words of one website: 'Still kicking Facebook's ass in traffic'.
Traffic analysts Hitwise supports evidence of this drubbing. It says that MySpace recieved 72 per cent compared with Facebook's 16 per cent during 2007 in the US. Bebo trailed in a very distant third with 1.09 per cent. With those figures, MySpace could afford to drop 8 per cent on the previous year and not worry too much about the 50 per cent rise of its main rival.
Facebook trails no-one in press coverage though, possibly influenced by the site's reputation for attracting the yuppies of the social networking world. But even with an affluent demographic, the site still has to find a way of squeezing the cash from its well-heeled customers.
In his self-congratulatory Facebook blog, founder Mark Zuckerberg says: 'We spend all our time here trying to build the best possible product that enables you to share and stay connected, so the fact that we're growing so quickly all over the world is very rewarding.'
You can't put a price on the rewards of friendship and maybe that compensates for the dollars, euros and pounds Zuckerberg is thus far failing to extract from the users.
Applications, get behind me!
How many of those 100 million friends will notice this momentous occasion is hard to say. Only a fifth of the members have bothered to update to the new look site that will soon be imposed on the rest of them. Furthermore, the most anticipated new application is one that hides all of its predecessors.
You can host a party, but once the invites have been sent out you can't control when the guests turn up and what they are going to do in the swimming pool. You can't even make them like you.
Still, we won't begrudge the site a congratulatory round of cyber cocktails on us. Bottoms up!