Facebook Reaches 120 Million Users

Social-networking giant Facebook is continuing to grow like mad. In fact, the company grew its active membership total from 90 million users in early July to 120 million now, according to Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer. While speaking at Salesforce.com's Dreamforce conference, Sandberg also noted, “We got more (members) in the last three months than in the first three years of our existence.”

If you consider the current population of the world is estimated to be about 6.7 billion, then almost 2% of the world’s population has a Facebook account. Facebook isn’t calling it quits, either. The company is hoping to continue to grow, and is adding partnerships in the process.

Facebook recently partnered with Salesforce.com, which will allow applications running on the Force.com infrastructure to be included on Facebook pages. Facebook currently offers more than 280,000 applications, or Web-based programs that can be housed on an individual’s Facebook page and shared with their contacts. Although most of today’s applications are primarily focused on entertainment, that could be changing to include a new business angle, thanks to the Salesforce.com partnership. You see, Salesforce.com offers tools for managing customer relationships. "By coming together with Force.com, we believe we are about to unleash the potential for productivity in network applications for our users," Sandberg said.

To demonstrate the partnership, Steve Fisher, senior vice president of Salesforce.com's platform division, brought the
My Starbucks Idea application from Salesforce.com's infrastructure into Facebook. This application lets you, the user, tell Starbucks your thoughts on ways to improve, new drinks, etc. It also lets you discuss and vote on ideas and then watch as Starbucks implements the most popular thoughts. 

Time will tell how these new partnerships, such as the one with Salesforce.com will affect Facebook’s growth. Given the number of technically savvy people we know who still don’t have a Facebook account, we’d say the company still has a fair crop from which to choose. There’s already quite a bit of talk about how businesses can, and do, use Facebook. By adding business-minded applications such as the one from Salesforce.com, the site is definitely encouraging this type of use.
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