Facebook is the biggest online phenomenon of recent years. With more than 500 million—yes, that’s half a billion—users, and growing, Facebook’s pageviews rival those of fellow Web leader Google. Facebook has re-united old flames, helped people make new and keep existing friends, and kept families in touch across great distances.

Facebook is all about connecting people. It’s a new way to keep in touch—easier than meeting in person or a phone call, but richer and more personal than many email or text message exchanges. People young enough to have used Facebook in high school and college are more likely to stay in touch with their classmates after graduation, for instance, than earlier generations.

Now, Facebook has added new features ...

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