Facebook reaches 200m users; is it too powerful?

Summary:Facebook has baffled everyone from the very beginning, no-one quite estimating how big this social network would become. After reaching 200 million users last week, there is cause for celebration in the Facebook office.

Facebook has baffled everyone from the very beginning, no-one quite estimating how big this social network would become. After reaching 200 million users last week, there is cause for celebration in the Facebook office.

From presidents to students, to civil servants to window cleaners, Facebook has changed the way we communicate with our friends, partners, siblings, our family and work colleagues. If Facebook were a country, it would be the fifth biggest country in the world, according to a video posted by the Facebook team.

To celebrate the milestone, Facebook has teamed up with over a dozen organisations and charities to help raise funds for their causes, including the American Red Cross, World Wildlife Fund and the Women for Women International group. By sending a gift to a friend on the social network helps raise vital funds for these charities to support and help others.

So what is the next step for Facebook?

The problem is, is that I don't know. I cannot foresee anything for the near future that Facebook could possibly do which could make any more of a difference than it already has done. The site already allows ordinary users to make decisions as a democracy as to how any major changes should be played, and after turning five year old only a couple of months ago, have they already done all they can do?

Facebook will continue growing until either the company cannot handle the amount of users anymore or a third-party company takes away the power. As a student, I can see no more potential in Facebook than what we have already seen, experienced and felt; the good, the bad and the downright ugly.

Maybe I am starting to go soft, and worry about the influence this social network has on every day people. The fact of the matter is this; with 200 million people in an online community, sharing and living, breathing and contributing, does Facebook need its own government? Can a team of three-hundred strong employees in a privately owned company really cope with the amount of users which rely on the site for so many aspects of their lives?

This could turn out to be an interesting one... have your say and comment back.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Collaboration

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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