YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea - Eighth Army has joined millions of other Facebook and Twitter users in the world of social media by launching its own organizational pages Sept. 10 to better communicate with servicemembers, families and civilians.

"Social media is here to stay and is extremely popular with our younger audience," said 8th Army Public Affairs Officer Lt. Col. Jeffrey Buczkowski. "It allows us to have a two-way dialogue."

Created in 2004, Facebook claims 500 million active users as of July 2010 and touts itself as a social graph that is the global mapping of everybody and how they're related, according to company statements.

That connectedness has led to privacy concerns and initially caused the U.S. Department of Defense to ban the use of social media from government systems because of operational security worries. The ban, however, was lifted in February of this year.

Since then, organizations across the Army and other services have embraced social media outlets like Facebook as another tool to communicate with servicemembers, and more importantly, receive instant feedback on policies and other messages being conveyed.

Facebook and other social media sites are fast becoming the information medium of choice, especially for those born after 1987.

"Facebook lets us know whether we are communicating the right information or not," said Buczkowski. "That will help us to better serve our audiences."

The 8th Army Facebook page can be located by searching for 8th Army-Korea. To receive tweets from 8th Army, search for 8thArmyKorea at Twitter and sign up to receive the latest information.