Facebook is a popular social network that has grown to rank with MySpace has. But what is it about Facebook that has special appeal and makes it even more popular than MySpace? What makes Facebook Facebook? And what made it a mega hit?
It all got started back in 2003, as Facemash. Mark Zuckerberg created it, along with help of his friends and roommates Chris Hughes and Dustin Moskovitz. Zuckerberg was in his sophomore year at Harvard when opened it up, as a way to get his mind off his crush.
Facemash placed photos of undergraduate two side by side, and asking the viewers which one is “hotter”. The site was originally only for Harvard, but quickly grew to other colleges, then high schools and finally for anyone over age 13.
After it was initially started, it was forwarded to Harvard’s school admins and it was quickly shut down. Zuckerberg was charged and faced expulsion for breaching privacy.
Later on, Harvard dropped their charges against Zuckerberg. After the charges were dropped, the following semester he recreated Facemash, and opened The Facebook in February 2004.
In 2005, he dropped “the” from the name and URL. Also in September 2005, he launched the High School version of Facebook. When he first started the high school version, each high school had to be invited before being allowed to join the network. Shortly after launching the high school version he started allow companies to have their own networks on Facebook as well.
Now a group of operators, a year after they launched their high school version, they opened it up to the public for everybody over the age of 13.
Syria and Iran have blocked Facebook from being accessed in their countries. Some companies have forbidden it from their offices. It has also been said that Zuckerberg had stolen the code and intellectual property from former classmates of his.
They have been sued more than once and have been the subject of criticism.
In Aug 2007, the code that normally creates the pages for Facebook showed instead of the content, leaving many to wonder if their data on Facebook is even safe.
EPIC filed a claim against Facebook with the FTC, while Zuckerberg tried to defend Facebook’s policy change. To do damage control they switched back to their old policies, though they are in the middle of rewriting them again. They will allow users to vote on the new terms, before they are adopted officially.
It has been rumored that a film about Facebook being made, though the Facebook spokesperson has said that they have not agreed to cooperate with anyone about making a film.
A 1.6% stake in Facebook had been sold to Microsoft Corp. for $240 million in October 24th 2007.
Facebook’s history is a mixture of trouble and success from very early on. They have seen more than their share of legal issues and likely will as long as they exist. Currently it is the number one social network with MySpace and Twitter both behind it.
They have over 175 million active users worldwide currently and is growing every day. Though they may have had their share of issues, they still maintain a well kept site that hasn’t gotten lost through the Web 2.0 shuffle.