A social networking website that is operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. Users can add friends and send them messages, and update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves.
Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook with his college roommates and fellow computer science students Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes while he was a student at HarvardUniversity.
Facebook has met with some controversy. It has been blocked intermittently in several countries including Syria, China, Vietnam, and Iran. It has also been banned at many places of work to discourage employees from wasting time using the service. Privacy has also been an issue, and it has been compromised several times. Facebook settled a lawsuit regarding claims over source codeand intellectual property. The site has also been involved in controversy over the sale of fans and friends.
Mark Zuckerberg invented Facemash on October 28, 2003 while attending Harvard as a sophomore. The site represented a Harvard University version of Hot or Not, according to the Harvard Crimson. That night, Zuckerberg was blogging about a girl who had dumped him and trying to think ofsomething to do to get her off his mind.
The following semester, Zuckerberg began writing code for a new website in January 2004. He was inspired, he said, by an editorial in The Harvard Crimson about the Facemash incident. "It is clear that the technology needed to create a centralized Website is readily available," the paper observed. "The benefits are many." On February 4, 2004, Zuckerberglaunched "Thefacebook", originally located at thefacebook.com. "Everyone’s been talking a lot about a universal face book within Harvard," Zuckerberg told The Harvard Crimson. "I think it’s kind of silly that it would take the University a couple of years to get around to it. I can do it better than they can, and I can do it in a week.When Mark finished the site, he told a couple of friends. And thenone of them suggested putting it on the Kirkland House online mailing list, which was, like, three hundred people," according to roommate Dustin Moskovitz. "And, once they did that, several dozen people joined, and then they were telling people at the other houses. By the end of the night, we were, like, actively watching the registration process. Within twenty-four hours, we had somewherebetween twelve hundred and fifteen hundred registrants."
Membership was initially restricted to students of Harvard College, and within the first month, more than half the undergraduate population at Harvard was registered on the service. Eduardo Saverin (business aspects), Dustin Moskovitz (programmer), Andrew McCollum (graphic artist), and Chris Hughes soon joined Zuckerberg to help promote thewebsite. In March 2004, Facebook expanded to Stanford, Columbia, and Yale. This expansion continued when it opened to all Ivy League and Boston area schools, and gradually most universities in Canada and the United States. Facebook incorporated in the summer of 2004 and the entrepreneur Sean Parker, who had been informally advising Zuckerberg, became the company's president. In June 2004, Facebookmoved its base of operations to Palo Alto, California. The company dropped The from its name after purchasing the domain name facebook.com in 2005 for $200,000.
Facebook launched the Facebook Platform on May 24, 2007, providing a framework for software developers to create applications that interact with core Facebook features. A markup language called Facebook Markup Language was introducedsimultaneously; it is used to customize the "look and feel" of applications that developers create. Using the Platform, Facebook launched several new applications, including Gifts, allowing users to send virtual gifts to each other, Marketplace, allowing users to post free classified ads, Events, giving users a method of informing their friends about upcoming events, and Video, letting users share...