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Facebook turns five

Social networking website celebrates fifth anniversary with more than 150 million users worldwide

Social networking favourite Facebook celebrated its fifth birthday yesterday.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook in 2004 when he was just 19 as a way of staying in touch with friends. In just 24 hours, around 1,000 of his Harvard classmates signed up.

Today the site has more than 150 million users and Zuckerberg, now 24, has been named the youngest billionaire last year by Forbes magazine with a fortune of $1.5 billion.

In a celebratory note posted on Facebook, Zuckerberg offered an insight into just how much our lives have been influenced by social networking.

“The culture of the Internet has also changed pretty dramatically over the past five years. Before, most people wouldn't consider sharing their real identities online. But Facebook has offered a safe and trusted environment for people to interact online, which has made millions of people comfortable expressing more about themselves,” Zuckerberg wrote.

The enterprising CEO went on to stress its importance as sharing “makes the world more open, and this gives everyone a voice to express ideas and initiate change."