the social network

Facebook Movie Poster Announces 500 Million Facebook Users Before Facebook Does

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Given all the recent privacy uproar over Facebook, this Fall’s Facebook movie, The Social Network (adapted for the screen by Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher), is going to be all the more interesting. Today, the first official poster for the movie has been unveiled on the movie’s website. It’s an eye-grabbing poster, but it’s also interesting because it implies that Facebook has 500 million users before the network has officially announced that.

The poster, which features a close-up of actor Jesse Eisenberg (who is playing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg), features the tag-line “You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.” Intriguing — but is it accurate?

The latest numbers on Facebook’s press site say the network has “more than 400 million active users” — this echoes what Zuckerberg said in a post in February. In late May, that number was pegged at 450 million, but third-party statistics suggest it was already closer to 500 million. Also in May, All Facebook reported that the social network was working on plans to celebrate their 500 millionth user — and suggested an announcement should come before June 25 (next week). But still, no official word from the company.

It’s kind of silly if the marketing for a movie makes the number “official” before Facebook itself does. The movie poster even points people to the URL 500millionfriends.com (which redirects to thesocialnetwork-movie.com — the official site). Still the film’s marketers are likely just playing the odds — the movie is slated to be released October 1, 2010 in the U.S., and Facebook will undoubtedly be far past the 500 million users mark at that point (and maybe even closer to 600 million users).

I’ve heard in recent weeks from two good sources that Facebook is past 500 million users now, even if they’re not publicly saying it. You can probably expect them to shortly.

A few other interesting tidbits about the poster: 1) It makes use of the UI of the most recent Facebook top toolbar (though the icons are slightly different — and obviously the search box wouldn’t normally be used to input a URL). 2) It appears to be running Firefox (judging from the tab bar). 3) It’s definitely running on a Mac (you can tell by the scroll bar at the bottom).

[thanks Christopher]

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