Facebook’s influence in the daily lives of online users is immeasurable at the moment. It has played a vital role in their lives and many people find it inconvenient if they cannot access their Facebook account even for a day. Facebook is considered as one of the best platforms when it comes to sharing ideas, opinions, criticisms, news and status of life. As of 2016, Facebook serves an estimate of 1.65 billion monthly active users. It was also branded as the most popular social networking site, making it the best place to keep you updated with the latest trends. It is also a great place to launch your brand and for marketing strategies.
Facebook started in 2003 as a program called “Facemash” by Mark Zuckerberg. He was still in his sophomore years at the Harvard University, when he came up with the idea of compiling photos of nine dormitory houses, comparing each photo by asking who the “hotter” person is. To be able to gather the photos, Zuckerberg hacked the school’s computer network and copied the student’s dormitory ID images. The school does not have a student’s directory with photos and personal information but the dormitories are issuing paper facebooks for decades. Facemash was able to attract 450 visitors initially and about 22,000 photo views, several hours after it was launched. The site gets more attention after it was forwarded to several campus group list-servers. Unfortunately, it was shut down by the school’s administration and Zuckerberg faced an expulsion due to breaching the school’s security, and for violating copyrights, and rights to individual privacy. The charges were eventually dropped, allowing Zuckerberg to improve the project. This time, he used it as a social study tool for the history class. He used 500 Augustan images and provided a section where students can share their thoughts. He shared it with his classmates and they started using it to share notes.
Inspired by the Facemash incident, he continued to build a new site where some of its functionalities are based on Facemash but allows users to create their profile and communicate with the other members. It uses the domain name thefacebook.com. He was later accused of stealing the idea of a social network and used that build a similar product. He was able to settle the issue for 1.2 million shares in 2008, which is worth $300 million at Facebook’s IPO.
Thefacebook.com received its first investment from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. By 2005, Thefacebook was re-launched as Facebook after acquiring the domain name for 200,000 US dollars. It received additional investments from Accel Partners and Jim Breyer. Microsoft, seeing Facebook’s potential, purchased a 1.6 share for $240million. The purchase includes rights to place international advertisements on Facebook. Facebook’s popularity continued to grow and finally got ranked as the most used social networking service in 2009, based on monthly active users. It still continues to grow today as a social media giant and an important part of the lives of the people in the online community.