Facebook turns five

Facebook is celebrating a major milestone Wednesday - its fifth birthday.

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Facebook is celebrating a major milestone Wednesday - its fifth birthday.

Since 4 Feb., 2004, the social networking site has brought together millions of friends. Late last month, online researcher ComScore announced its research shows Facebook has stormed past archrival Myspace, the pioneer of the social networking phenomenon, in monthly page view counts. Facebook, once thought of as the up-and-coming social network, had almost 222 million unique visitors in December, while MySpace came in at 125 million.

Now, with a fifth year anniversary under its belt, Facebook has even more to celebrate.

"This is a happy occasion for Facebook, but much more significant to the Facebook team is the fact that over 150 million people around the world are using Facebook to connect with the people in their lives," said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in a blog post. "Facebook was founded in 2004 to give people the tools to engage and understand the world around them. We are glad and humbled that so many people are using Facebook in this way."

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says over 150 million people around the world use the social networking websiteFacebook is celebrating its own birthday by giving users a surprise gift that can be sent to their friends on the site. The gift is slated to be available in the Facebook Gift Shop. "In the spirit of celebrating connections between people, we encourage you to use this gift to give thanks to your friends, colleagues and family members with whom you are connected on Facebook," wrote Zuckerberg.

To note Facebook's birthday, Internet monitor Hitwise released statistics about the company Wednesday.

Hitwise noted that Facebook last month had the fifth highest market share of all Web sites, doubling from 15% in January, 2008 to 31% last month. The firm also noted that the average time users spend on Facebook was a little more than 21 minutes last month.

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