World’s leading social networking site Facebook, aka FB, has passed its 400 million users milestone in its 6th anniversary. Facebook & CEO Mark Zuckerberg are celebrating its 6th anniversary by redesigning the site in style.
The latest evolution continued Friday after Facebook started rolling the changes out late Thursday, the company’s sixth birthday. The changes were being made in stages, so not all users were seeing them right away.
Two months ago the social network hit 350 million, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg reminds us that number was less than half of today’s 400 million mark a year ago. It took the site about three months to climb from 300 to 350 million users and only about two months to gain another 50 million, indicating Facebook’s explosive growth is actually still accelerating.
Zuckerberg also mentions some upcoming announcements followed by an all-night Hackathon coding session.
Last night, the company decided to mark the momentous occasion [6th Anniversary Celebration] by launching a complete homepage redesign and throwing a party for its employees. Not only that, but it invited engineering students and select members of the press to chat with Facebook’s team, including Mark Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg and Product Manager Peter Deng.
According to mashable.com:
In a private meeting with the press, Mr. Deng took the time to explain the new Facebook (Facebook) redesign and all of its new features in-depth. I whipped out my Kodak ZI8 and filmed the entire conversation and demo. While he didn’t reveal many new details, he did provide a very useful overview that made Facebook design and its plan much easier to understand.
In another news, Marshall Kirkpatrick of Read Write Web has hypothesized that Facebook could eventually depose Google by becoming the world’s “leading” news reader.
In a recent blog post, Kirkpatrick explained that “hundreds of millions of people” use the wildly popular social networking site to keep up with news about friends and family.
“It’s an interface they know and love. The newsfeed model has been popularized by Facebook and so encouraging news subscription through it will be infinitely easier than trying to get people to use something new,” wrote Kirkpatrick.
“Special messages can [also] be posted directly to readers. Facebook isn’t a rigid ‘publish and subscribe’ only channel, it’s a broader opportunity for communication than dedicated RSS readers offer. That makes more sense to users and is compelling to publishers.”
Heather Hopkins, a senior online analyst at Hitwise, concurred with Kirkpatrick hypothesis, stating that Facebook could act as a “major disruptor” to the traditional News and Media category.
Indeed, Hopkins noted that visits to Google’s Reader have “dropped off” since November 2009. ?”Last week, Google Reader accounted for .01% of upstream visits to News and Media websites, about the same level as a year ago.
“[Meanwhile], Google News accounted for 1.39% of visits and Facebook 3.52%, while Facebook was the #4 source of visits to News and Media sites last week, after Google, Yahoo! and msn. News and Media is the #11 downstream industry after Facebook, receiving 3.69% of the social networking site’s traffic.”
However, Facebook is unlikely to halt its quest for online domination by limiting itself to news. The company is reportedly designing an indigenous webmail service known by the unlikely name of Project Titan that could potentially overtake Gmail and Hotmail in popularity.
“[Titan] would see users rid of the rather cumbersome Facebook messaging service that’s currently available, and replaced by a fully-feaured webmail service instead,” claimed a post on Stuff.TV.
“There have been hints at a move to expand the messaging in recent additions, such as the ability to add regular email addresses into Facebook messages, and the ability to search your inbox. Facebook [may also be] preparing to go much further and take on full POP/IMAP support, meaning you’ll be able to access your account on your phone or through a service like Outlook Express or Entourage.”