Much has been made of the Facebook backlash over recent months, what with the rise of Twitter and Facebook statuses seemingly left unupdated for months. 

On its fifth birthday we're taking a look at the issues affecting the present and the future of the social network.

One thing's for sure, Facebook has had a huge impact on how people think about the internet, and has opened up a new way of social interaction for millions.

Social pioneer 

Jimmy Ang, Research Fellow at City University London's School of Informatics, says that Facebook benefited by being different from other social networking tools. "Previous social networking tools such as MySpace were more of a form of self publishing - the main focus is to publicise oneself. In Facebook the focus is mainly on relationships and connections."

"Facebook's growth mirrored the rise of cheap broadband in the UK – new audiences have been brought online and the things loved by early adopters, like sharing and collaboration or citizen journalism now have popular appeal," says Anna Carlson, Social Marketer at NixonMcInnes.

Lucian Tarnowski, founder of BraveNewTalent.com, agrees. "Many people's first experience of social media, online communities, UGC and Web 2.0 is due to them receiving an email from a friend inviting them to the service."

Facebook also changed how we perceived internet communication – and social networking. "In the last 5 years, Facebook has played an integral part in taking social networking out of geekdom and into the mass market," adds Tarnowski.