Facebook membership surges to 120 million users

Social-networking site has grown by 30 million members in three months. Will it get more by integrating business applications running at Salesforce.com's Force.com?

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg speaks at Dreamforce.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg speaks at Dreamforce. Stephen Shankland/CNET News

SAN FRANCISCO--Social-networking giant Facebook got a notch bigger in the last three months, and the company has higher hopes from a partnership with Salesforce.com.

Specifically, the company grew its active membership total from 90 million in early July to 120 million now, said Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, speaking at Saleforce.com's Dreamforce conference here.

"We got more (members) in the last three months than in the first three years of our existence," Sandberg said. She also said the site now has more than 280,000 applications, small Web-based programs that can be housed on Facebook pages and shared with people's contacts.

Sandberg was on stage to tout a Facebook partnership with Salesforce.com by which applications running on the Force.com infrastructure can be presented on Facebook pages. Salesforce.com offers online tools for businesses managing their customer relationships--and an increasingly sophisticated programmable foundation for customized applications and Web sites .

If programmers using the Salesforce.com infrastructure jump aboard, they could bring a significant new business angle to the scope of Facebook's applications, which today tend to be much more about entertainment. That's just want Sandberg hopes to achieve: "By coming together with Force.com, we believe we are about to unleash the potential for productivity in network applications for our users," Sandberg said.

Steve Fisher, senior vice president of Saleforce.com's platform division, demonstrated the partnership by bringing the My Starbucks Idea application from Salesforce.com's infrastructure into Facebook.

Also tooting the horn was Starbucks Chief Technology Officer Chris Bruzzo, who said the Facebook technology will help the company and its customers make My Starbucks Idea more useful and manageable. "Facebook is going to give us that local, personalized relevance," Bruzzo said.

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About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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