Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates and fellow computer science students Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. The website's membership was initially limited by the founders to Harvard students, but was expanded to other colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University. It gradually addedsupport for students at various other universities before opening to high school students, and, finally, to anyone aged 13 and over.
A January 2009 Compete.com study ranked Facebook as the most used social network by worldwide monthly active users, followed byMySpace. Entertainment Weekly put it on its end-of-the-decade "best-of" list, saying, "How on earth did we stalk our exes, rememberour co-workers' birthdays, bug our friends, and play a rousing game of Scrabulous before Facebook?" Quantcast estimates Facebook has 135.1 million monthly unique U.S. visitors.
Mark Zuckerberg wrote Face mash, the predecessor to Facebook, on October 28, 2003, while attending Harvard as a sophomore. The site represented a Harvard University version of Hot or Not, and accordingto The Harvard Crimson, Facemash "used photos compiled from the online facebooks of nine Houses, placing two next to each other at a time and asking users to choose the 'hotter' person".
Mark Zuckerberg co-created Facebook in his Harvard dorm room.
To accomplish this, Zuckerberg hacked into the protected areas of Harvard's computer network, and copied the houses' privatedormitory ID images. Harvard at that time did not have a student directory with photos and basic information, and Facemash attracted 450 visitors and 22,000 photo-views in its first four hours online. That the initial site mirrored people's physical community—with their real identities—represented the key aspects of what later became Facebook.
The site was quickly forwarded to several campusgroup list-servers, but was shut down a few days later by the Harvard administration. Zuckerberg was charged by the administration with breach of security, violating copyrights, and violating individual privacy, and faced expulsion. Ultimately, however, the charges were dropped. Zuckerberg expanded on this initial project that semester by creating a social study tool ahead of an art history final,by uploading 500 Augustan images to a website, with one image per page along with a comment section. He opened the site up to his classmates, and people started sharing their notes.
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. On February 4, 2004,Zuckerberg launched "The facebook", originally located at thefacebook.com.
Just six days after the site launched, three Harvard seniors, Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra, accused Zuckerberg of intentionally misleading them into believing he would help them build a social network called HarvardConnection.com, while he was instead using their ideas to build a competing...