Businesses should take heed of the announcement that Facebook now has more than 500 million users worldwide.

Steven Van Belleghem, managing partner of InSites Consulting, said the value of interacting with social media for firms should not be underrated.

Indeed, with such a large audience out there, getting involved in these sites should be viewed as a must – and Facebook is by far the dominant force in the sector.

He commented: “The law of networks states that the value of a network equals the number of users squared, which implies exponential growth.”

Mr Van Belleghem added that the only way this is unlikely to happen will be when next-generation services are introduced, as this could be a “different ball game”.

According to research by InSites Consulting, 72 per cent of internet users worldwide are now actively using social networking – and 51 per cent now have an account on Facebook – figures that should be ringing in the ears of search engine marketing professionals.

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