Facebook Hits 500 Million Users

facebook hits 500 million users stories

Social networking giant Facebook has crossed an important threshold: the service now claims to have more than 500 million active users around the world. To celebrate, the company is rolling out a new site called Facebook Stories, centering on the positive impacts Facebook has had on individual users’ lives—it’s accessible to the world, not just Facebook users.

“This is an important milestone for all of you who have helped spread Facebook around the world,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in a statement. “Now a lot more people have the opportunity to stay connected with the people they care about.”

Recent statistics on Facebook’s user base from CheckFacebook.com place the United States at the forefront of Facebook’s user population, with about 130 million users. The United Kingdom and Indonesia place a distant second and third place, with 278 million users and 26 million users, respectively. However, numbers of users alone don’t always tell the whole story: for instance, according to O’Reilly Radar, over 40 percent of Internet users in Oceania (Australia and surrounding regions) use Facebook, although they account for only a few percent of Facebook’s overall user base.

Facebook launched in 2004 as a dorm room project; the fact the operation has grown to encompass half a billion people around the world in six years is nothing short of phenomenal. However, the company’s path to growth hasn’t always been smooth, with Facebook facing serious questions regarding the security and privacy of users’ data. Facebook has also rubbed some feathers the wrong way: just this week, the American Consumer Satisfaction Index found American consumers’ satisfaction with Facebook was in the lowest tier of all American companies—right in there with cable and television providers.

Facebook Stories is intended to highlight the ways Facebook has had an impact on users’ lives…and, of course, it’s already displaying the pros and cons of the new social media age. In addition to heartfelt statements about how people have used Facebook to make a positive impact in the real world…the site is already being littered with cheesy come-ons, conspiracy theories, and political screeds.

Emerging Tech

Leafy greens are grown by machines at new, automated Silicon Valley farm

Farming hasn't changed too much for hundreds of years. Now a new startup called Iron Ox has opened its first automated hydroponics farm, producing a variety of leafy greens tended by machines.
Emerging Tech

Uniqlo’s robotic warehouse requires 90 percent fewer human workers

Uniqlo has unveiled its first robot-powered warehouse that requires 90 percent fewer human workers to operate. The Japanese clothing giant plans to invest close to $1 billion dollars to convert all of its warehouses worldwide.
Computing

Was your Facebook account hacked in the latest breach? Here’s how to find out

Facebook now reports that its latest data breach affected only 30 million users, down from an initial estimate of 50 million accounts. You can also find out if hackers had accessed your account by visiting a dedicated portal.
Computing

Windows Insiders get fix for October 2018 Update’s data delete bug

Microsoft has patched its October 2018 Update for Windows 10 to include a fix for the data deletion bug that hit a few users upon the initial rollout. Insiders will test it first before it's sent to the full Windows user base.
Computing

Nvidia is slowly rolling out its next generation of GPUs. Here's what you need to know about them

Nvidia's new RTX 2000 series graphics cards are impressive pieces of hardware, with some amazing advancements and some rather high price tags to match. Here's everything you need to know about Nvidia's new top-tier cards.
Computing

Lenovo and Dell make great professional laptops, but who does it best?

Finding the best laptop for professional use at the office, on the move, and at home is no easy task. There's plenty to choose but to find the best of the best, we pitted the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme vs. Dell XPS 15.
Computing

Personal info of 30,000-plus Pentagon employees compromised in contractor breach

The Pentagon is facing another security problem after it was discovered that a contractor was responsible for a leak of data that affected more than 30,000 Pentagon employees, both civilian and military.
Emerging Tech

Here’s all the best gear and gadgetry you can snag for $100 or less

A $100 bill can get you further than you might think -- so long as you know where to look. Check out our picks for the best tech under $100, whether you're in the market for headphones or a virtual-reality headset.
Emerging Tech

What the heck is machine learning, and why is it everywhere these days?

Machine learning has been responsible for some of the biggest advances in artificial intelligence over the past decade. But what exactly is it? Check out our handy beginner's guide.
Computing

Did your Windows 10 audio stop working after the update? Microsoft has a fix

Microsoft has released a small patch for its October 2018 Update build of Windows 10 following some users facing audio issues that resulted in no sound output at all. After this fix, that problem should disappear for good.
Photography

Adobe’s Premiere Rush is a video-editing app designed for social media projects

At Adobe MAX 2018, Adobe unveiled updates across the board for all of its Creative Cloud apps, from the release of Premiere Rush CC, a social-focused video editor, to Project Gemini, a digital drawing and painting tool.
Computing

World’s first 49-inch, dual QHD curved monitor tops Dell’s new line of displays

Dell's world's first 49-inch dual QHD curved monitor and other new displays come packed with innovative design features and technologies aimed at meeting demands of workflows everywhere.
Computing

Updated Intel processor benchmarks still beat AMD Ryzen competitor, but by less

After some controversy, updated Principled Technologies testing shows the Intel i9-9900K with a reduced lead over the AMD Ryzen 2700X in benchmarks, and with the AMD Ryzen 2700 X seeing better performance. 
Home Theater

HDMI 2.0b is a whole lot more than just a connection to your TV

HDMI 2.0b is the backbone for many of the latest updates in 4K UHD technology. And while a new cable standard can often involve a bunch of changes for consumers, that is not the case this time around.