Is Facebook Growing Up Too Fast?

Published: March 28, 2009
WHEN Facebook signed up its 100 millionth member last August, its employees spread out in two parks in Palo Alto, Calif., for a huge barbecue. Sometime this week, this five-year-old start-up, born in a dorm room at Harvard, expects to register its 200 millionth user.
The masters of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, left, and Chris Cox, preside over a five-year-old company that is nearing a milestone of 200 million users, double the number last August. 
Facebook has helped Karen Haber of Israel find family members. The Holocaust dispersed many of her relatives around the globe.

That staggering growth rate — doubling in size in just eight months — suggests Facebook is rapidly becoming the Web’s dominant social ecosystem and an essential personal and business networking tool in much of the wired world.

Yet Facebook executives say they aren’t planning to observe their latest milestone in any significant way. It is, perhaps, a poor time to celebrate. The company that has given users new ways to connect and speak truth to power now often finds itself as the target of that formidable grass-roots firepower — most recently over controversial changes it made to users’ home pages.

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