Facebook to Champion 500M User Mark with Stories

Facebook will announce that it has reached 500 million users. The milestone comes as "The Social Network" feature film chronicles the inception of Facebook.

Facebook is expected to tout that it has topped 500 million users this week, more than five months after it crossed the 400 million mark in February.

The company will celebrate topping the lofty half-billion mark by trotting out a new marketing play called Facebook Stories, according to AllThingsDigital.

Stories will feature real-life stories about people who have used the social network to connect with long-lost friends, relatives and loved ones.

Stories boasts some 200 stories from users, which it will use with their permission and section into geographical location and theme.

Users will be able to "Like" stories, with the most well-liked being featured.

The 500-million mark is a milestone worthy of celebration, coming just more than five months after Facebook trumpeted reaching the 400 million mark in February, shortly after its sixth birthday.

That came more than five months after it hit the 300 million mark in September. Facebook is adding more than 200 million users per year at that clip, a rate that is bound to slow down at some point.

Ironically enough, the growth comes in time for the feature film "The Social Network," a tale of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's creation of the Website, or at least the question of whether or not he created it, from his Harvard dorm room.

Facebook's growth also comes in the wake of new features that sparked privacy concerns, such as the universal "like" button and social plugins.

The company has since made changes to let users more easily opt out of these features, which broadcast users' interests to vendors trying to sell products.

Privacy is a serious matter for half of social network users.

According to a new Marist Poll of 1,004 U.S. residents, 43 percent say they have a profile on a site such as Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn. Half of these users claim they are worried about their privacy.

Sixty-five percent of those 60 and older -- or those old enough to have been swept up in the fear of "Big Brother" government policing -- have some degree of concern about their privacy on a social networking site.

More women -- 57 percent to 43 percent -- are concerned about their privacy on social networks than men.