Facebook is expected to reach the very impressive 500 million user milestone this week. Putting this half billion member mark in perspective, The Washington Post reports that, “the population inhabiting Facebook now equals that of the United States, Japan and Germany combined. Or, two Mexicos and a Brazil.”

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Facebook reached 400 million users five months ago. This time last year, it had just reached 200 million, and eight months before that it was at 100 million. Facebook has certainly come a long way since its launch in February 2004 and has become the most popular social site on the web. It poses the question, how on earth did we communicate with our friend’s before Facebook? Did we actually pick up the phone and speak to them?!

Plus it’s not only consumers reaping the rewards of this social networking phenomenon, but it’s clear that brands can also benefit. Many use Facebook as a channel for developing direct relationships with customers and as a platform for sharing and discovering rich content.

But I digress….

In light of this impending milestone, one of the Facebook marketing gurus said that the site plans to celebrate it  with ‘Facebook Stories’, a collection of real-life memories from Facebook users about how the social networking site has impacted their lives. She said that while previous announcements of this nature have been about the numbers, this time the company wants it to be all about the users.

Users could submit their yarn in 420 characters or less. The stories will then be organised into a ‘visual memorial’ by geographical location and by themes such as “finding love,” “coping with grief” and “natural disasters.”

Facebook has already posted a form through which you can submit your own story. If your story becomes popular — that is, if it gets more “Likes” than most — it could be featured among other popular stories.

Got any memories to share…?

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