Facebook Hits 500M Users Amid Ownership Lawsuit

Facebook on July 21 reached 500 million users, celebrating the feat with its Facebook Stories application. The milestone comes in the face of a lawsuit from Paul Ceglia, who claims 84 percent ownership of the company.

Facebook on July 21 reached 500 million users and commemorated the milestone by launching an application that lets users share stories about how Facebook has impacted their lives.

As reported earlier by eWEEK, Facebook Stories lets users read how people leveraged the social networking Website to do anything from find long-lost friends or start grassroots movements.

For example, high-school student Ben Saylor used Facebook to forge an effort to rebuild the Pioneer Playhouse after the oldest outdoor theater in Kentucky was damaged by floods.

Users can view stories by location and by theme, which includes recent stories, as well as those from celebrities, family, college and education. Users can also "like" and share these posts.

"Our mission at Facebook is to help make the world more open and connected. Stories like these are examples of that mission and are both humbling and inspiring," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement, which includes a video of him thanking the Websites' 500 millon users.

"I could have never imagined all of the ways people would use Facebook when we were getting started six years ago," he said.

Reaching the 500-million-user mark stirred ABC News to do an exclusive interview with Zuckerberg.

Star interviewer Diane Sawyer grilled the famous CEO about the Website's meteoric rise; "The Social Network" feature film about the company's supposed beginnings from a Harvard dorm; and the latest lawsuit to challenge his ownership of the company.

In that lawsuit, the second major overture to challenge Zuckerberg as majority owner of the private company, Web developer Paul Ceglia claimed the CEO signed a contract that entitles him to 84 percent ownership of the company. Zuckerberg said he didn't sign any such contract.

Zuckerberg apparently provided a spicier appearance Wednesday night at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., to celebrate the release of David Kirkpatrick's book "The Facebook Effect."

Belying Facebook's climb to 500 million users is the latest ASCI customer satisfaction report, which found the Website scored only 64 out of 100 on the user satisfaction scale.

That's lower than tax filing services and makes people about as happy as with airline and cable TV services.