Facebook has over 400 million active users worldwide, 3 million active pages, and 1.5 million business listings. 50% of its active users log on to Facebook every day. Like it or not, there's no contesting Facebook's popularity. For more surprising statistics, see Facebook's own stats page.

Here are some fast facts and helpful tips to help you get the most out of the social networking powerhouse, and understand its implications on your business.

Careful with those Pics!
Be aware that employers and clients may use Facebook to check up on you before hiring you. If you upload the pics of your trip to the Bahamas with your buddies, make sure they present a decent image. Your online presence and reputation very much matter!

Also be aware that Facebook has drawn criticism for a lax privacy policy with regard to its subscribers. If you use Facebook, make sure you check your privacy settings and adjust them as needed. Check these settings periodically because changes to Facebook may impact what others can see about you.

Become a Fan
You can become a Facebook "fan" of a company or other entity to keep tabs on their activities. To become a Fan, type in the name of the subject or entity you're interested in into the search box. Select the result you're looking for, and click on "Become a Fan". As an example, NetEffect has a company page. Use a Facebook company page to tout your company's successes and keep people thinking about you.

If you doubt the power of these fan pages, have a look at the Facebook page "Betty White to Host SNL". It has over 500,000 fans, and due in part to this page going viral, SNL chose Betty White to host the show last Sat.

Facebook's Foundation
Its stated purpose is to "make the world more open and transparent" in order to "create greater understanding and connection"

To App or not to App
There are more than 500,000 active applications available on Facebook, and more than 250 of these have more than one million active users. This speaks volumes to the fact that specialized applications are quickly finding their way into nearly every aspect of our daily lives.

News Feeds
It's not necessary to see every update your Facebook friends post. Simply click "Hide" next to any newsfeed post, and you'll be offered the option to hide all updates from that person or (if applicable) updates of that particular type.

Additional Resources
For those who really want to dig in to Facebook, there are plenty of resources available.

The Facebook Marketing Bible

Facebook Week - News and Reviews

And naturally, Facebook itself.

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