Love it or lump it, it looks like Facebook is here to stay. The social-networking ubersite has just hit 500 million users, blithely brushing aside criticism over privacy in recent months. That's half a billion people -- a twelfth of all people on the planet -- actively using the site to stay in touch with friends, upload compromising photos and build the perfect farm.
To celebrate this monolithic milestone, founder Mark Zuckerberg has introduced a new section of the site called Facebook Stories, which lets users post the reasons they love Facebook, or just give a bit of a shout-out. It's also a good way for those involved with charities to publicise their cause. You can search for 'stories' by location using a great big interactive map (powered by Bing -- interesting) or search by theme.
Facebook asks users to submit their own stories, saying, "Facebook is all about the individual and collective experiences of you and your friends. It's filled with hundreds of millions of stories. Which ones inspire you? What's your Facebook story?"
Bit schmaltzy if you ask us, but then our hearts are made of crusty old tarmac. Captain Zuck has also made a 'thank you' video in which he explains more about the service, all the time fixing you with his cold, unsettling, shark-like gaze.
Elsewhere, BBC News has an excellent infographic which shows, among other things, which social networks are increasing in popularity and which ones are losing ground. Caroline McCarthy has an interesting piece on where Facebook's next 500 millon users might come from, at our sister site CNET News.
Once you're done, don't forget to head over to our own Facebook page and let us know what you think. Oh, and don't forget to click 'Like' while you're there or we'll set Zuckerberg on you. We know his secret kill command. You have been warned.