A Brief History of Facebook

The journey of Facebook from its conception to its present day glory has been truly amazing. In this Buzzle article, we will briefly tell you about the history of Facebook.
Facebook is the most popular social networking website on the Internet today with more than 500 million members worldwide, but how many of us really know the history of Facebook? This is a rather interesting story of an unassuming 19 year old who did not realize the true potential of what he was setting out to accomplish. Mark Zuckerberg, born May 14, 1984 in New York, was a sophomore in Harvard University when he stumbled upon this marvelous creation that made him a millionaire within a few years. In the following section we shall go through some of the important events in the timeline of the history of Facebook.

History of Facebook

The original idea behind this top, mammoth social networking site was the rather shallow concept of placing the photos of two people next to each other, and then having people vote for the hotter one. This idea was implemented in the form of 'Facemash', a website invented by Mark Zukerberg along with three of his classmates at Harward- Chris Hughes, Dustin Moskovitz and Andrew McCollum. Facemash which opened on October 28, 2003, was Facebook's predecessor. Thus in a rather inconsequential game termed 'Hot or Not', Zuckerberg set the stage for a worldwide platform that would change the face of the Internet forever.

Facemash initially started off as a platform for only students from Harvard, and slowly spread to other Universities, high schools, till eventually it became open to anyone over the age of 13. Along with his colleagues, Zuckerberg hacked into Harvard's records department and stole everyone's private dormitory identification pictures. These were the guys who invented Facebook. At the time, there was no computerized record of the students in the University that could be accessed by everyone, so the other students latched on to this concept hungrily. In fact, it was noted that in its first 4 hours alone, Facebook amassed 450 visitors and more than 22,000 image views.

University officials soon caught on though, and charged Zuckerberg with breach of security, copyrights and individual privacy. Zuckerberg was facing expulsion for a few days, but eventually the charges against him were dropped.

In January 2004, Mark Zuckerberg began writing the code for a new website, known as 'thefacebook', implementing some new ideas into the original network, and added some useful features like a 'comments' section, amongst other things. A few Harvard seniors back then accused Zuckerberg of stealing ideas, but they later settled these issues with him.

Pretty soon the network spread to Stanford, Yale and Columbia Universities, all Ivy League schools, Boston University, New York University and MIT. Within a few months most of the schools and universities in the United States and Canada were on board, and a surprisingly large number of people knew how to use Facebook. In the summer of 2004 the company became incorporated, and moved base to its current location in Palo Alto, California. In 2005, 'the' was dropped from their name after the purchase of the domain name facebook.com for $200,000. One of the primary investors in the company was one of the co-founders of PayPal, Peter Thiel.

In September 2006, the network was opened to any individual who had an email address and was over the age of 13. This led to a surge in its popularity all around the world, leading to Microsoft buying 1.6% stock in the company for $240 million. An online marketplace, in June 2010, reflected a valuation of $11.5 billion, for private Facebook stock. In December 2011, Facebook was the second most visited website in the world after Google.

Considering its journey till now, the future of Facebook seems to be very bright indeed. Almost everyone who has access to the Internet today has heard about, or uses Facebook and there are so many more out there, who are potential members of this incredible social network.

Though today, many are debating on the pros and cons of using Facebook, the fact remains that it has brought about a revolution in the field of social networking, and will without a doubt be a key aspect of Internet usage in the future.
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