Facebook

Facebook

Overview
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as friends, and exchange messages, including automatic notifications when they update their profile. Additionally, users may join common-interest user groups, organized by workplace, school or college, or other characteristics, and categorize their friends into lists such as "People From Work" or "Close Friends".
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Encyclopedia
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as friends, and exchange messages, including automatic notifications when they update their profile. Additionally, users may join common-interest user groups, organized by workplace, school or college, or other characteristics, and categorize their friends into lists such as "People From Work" or "Close Friends". The name of the service stems from the colloquial name for the book
Facebook (directory)
A facebook is a printed or online directory found at American universities consisting of individuals’ photographs and names. In particular, it denotes publications of this type distributed by university administrations at the start of the academic year with the intention of helping students get to...

 given to students at the start of the academic year by some university administrations in the United States to help students get to know each other. Facebook allows any users who declare themselves to be at least 13 years old to become registered users of the site.

Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is an American computer programmer and Internet entrepreneur. He is best known for co-creating the social networking site Facebook, of which he is chief executive and president...

 with his college roommates and fellow students Eduardo Saverin
Eduardo Saverin
Eduardo P. Saverin is a Brazilian-born American internet entrepreneur and investor. Saverin is best known for co-founding Facebook, along with Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes...

, Dustin Moskovitz
Dustin Moskovitz
Dustin Moskovitz is an American internet entrepreneur who co-founded the social networking website Facebook along with Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin and Chris Hughes. Moskovitz owns a 6% share of Facebook. He is also a co-founder and the CEO of Asana. Moskovitz is Jewish...

 and Chris Hughes. The Web site's membership was initially limited by the founders to Harvard students, but was expanded to other colleges in the Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

 area, the Ivy League
Ivy League
The Ivy League is an athletic conference comprising eight private institutions of higher education in the Northeastern United States. The conference name is also commonly used to refer to those eight schools as a group...

, and Stanford University
Stanford University
The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...

. It gradually added support for students at various other universities before opening to high school students, and eventually to anyone aged 13 and over. However, based on ConsumersReports.org on May 2011, there are 7.5 million children under 13 with accounts, violating the site's terms of service.

A January 2009 Compete.com
Compete.com
Compete.com is a web traffic analysis service of Compete, Inc. which operates in the United States and publishes the approximate number of global visitors to the top 1,000,000 web sites in the world...

 study ranked Facebook as the most used social networking service by worldwide monthly active users. Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly is an American magazine, published by the Time division of Time Warner, that covers film, television, music, broadway theatre, books and popular culture...

included the site on its end-of-the-decade "best-of" list, saying, "How on earth did we stalk our exes, remember our co-workers' birthdays, bug our friends, and play a rousing game of Scrabulous before Facebook?" Quantcast
Quantcast
Quantcast is a California based company that provides publishers and marketers with the ability to understand, deliver and reach their best audiences at a massive scale...

 estimates Facebook has 138.9 million monthly unique U.S. visitors in May 2011. According to Social Media Today, in April 2010 an estimated 41.6% of the U.S. population had a Facebook account. Nevertheless, Facebook's market growth started to stall in some regions, with the site losing 7 million active users in the United States and Canada in May 2011.

History



Mark Zuckerberg wrote Facemash, the predecessor to Facebook, on October 28, 2003, while attending Harvard
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 as a sophomore. According to The Harvard Crimson
The Harvard Crimson
The Harvard Crimson, the daily student newspaper of Harvard University, was founded in 1873. It is the only daily newspaper in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is run entirely by Harvard College undergraduates...

, the site was comparable to Hot or Not
Hot or Not
Hot or Not is a rating site that allows users to rate the attractiveness of photos submitted voluntarily by others. The site also offers a match making engine called 'Meet Me' and an extended profile feature called 'HOTLISTS'. It is owned by Avid Life Media....

, and "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".

To accomplish this, Zuckerberg hacked
Hacker (computer security)
In computer security and everyday language, a hacker is someone who breaks into computers and computer networks. Hackers may be motivated by a multitude of reasons, including profit, protest, or because of the challenge...

 into the protected areas of Harvard's computer network and copied the houses' private dormitory ID images. Harvard at that time did not have a student "facebook
Facebook (directory)
A facebook is a printed or online directory found at American universities consisting of individuals’ photographs and names. In particular, it denotes publications of this type distributed by university administrations at the start of the academic year with the intention of helping students get to...

" (a directory with photos and basic information). Facemash attracted 450 visitors and 22,000 photo-views in its first four hours online.

The site was quickly forwarded to several campus group 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 copyright
Copyright
Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time...

s, 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
Art history
Art history has historically been understood as the academic study of objects of art in their historical development and stylistic contexts, i.e. genre, design, format, and style...

 final, by uploading 500 Augustan
History of Rome
The history of Rome spans 2,800 years of the existence of a city that grew from a small Italian village in the 9th century BC into the centre of a vast civilisation that dominated the Mediterranean region for centuries. Its political power was eventually replaced by that of peoples of mostly...

 images to a Web site, 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 Web site 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 "Thefacebook", originally located at thefacebook.com.

Six days after the site launched, three Harvard seniors, Cameron Winklevoss
Cameron Winklevoss
Cameron Howard Winklevoss is an American rower and entrepreneur. He competed in the men's pair rowing event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics with his identical twin brother and rowing partner Tyler Winklevoss. Cameron and his brother are known for co-founding HarvardConnection along with Harvard...

, Tyler Winklevoss
Tyler Winklevoss
Tyler Howard Winklevoss is an American rower and entrepreneur. He competed in the men's pair rowing event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics with his identical twin brother and rowing partner Cameron Winklevoss...

, and Divya Narendra
Divya Narendra
Divya Narendra is an American businessman. He is currently the CEO and co-founder of SumZero. He also co-founded HarvardConnection with Harvard classmates Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss....

, accused Zuckerberg of intentionally misleading them into believing he would help them build a social network called HarvardConnection.com
ConnectU
ConnectU was a social networking website launched on May 21, 2004 that was founded by Harvard students Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra in December 2002. Users could add people as friends, send them messages, and update their personal profiles to notify friends about...

, while he was instead using their ideas to build a competing product. The three complained to the Harvard Crimson, and the newspaper began an investigation. The three later filed a lawsuit against Zuckerberg, subsequently settling.

Membership was initially restricted to students of Harvard College
Harvard College
Harvard College, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is one of two schools within Harvard University granting undergraduate degrees...

, and within the first month, more than half the undergraduate population at Harvard was registered on the service. Eduardo Saverin
Eduardo Saverin
Eduardo P. Saverin is a Brazilian-born American internet entrepreneur and investor. Saverin is best known for co-founding Facebook, along with Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes...

 (business aspects), Dustin Moskovitz
Dustin Moskovitz
Dustin Moskovitz is an American internet entrepreneur who co-founded the social networking website Facebook along with Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin and Chris Hughes. Moskovitz owns a 6% share of Facebook. He is also a co-founder and the CEO of Asana. Moskovitz is Jewish...

 (programmer), Andrew McCollum
Andrew McCollum
Andrew McCollum is a co-founder of Facebook and an angel investor. He attended Harvard University with co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and others on the founding team. He worked at Facebook from February 2004 to September 2006...

 (graphic artist), and Chris Hughes soon joined Zuckerberg to help promote the Web site. In March 2004, Facebook expanded to Stanford
Stanford University
The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...

, Columbia
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

, and Yale
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

. It soon opened to the other Ivy League
Ivy League
The Ivy League is an athletic conference comprising eight private institutions of higher education in the Northeastern United States. The conference name is also commonly used to refer to those eight schools as a group...

 schools, Boston University
Boston University
Boston University is a private research university located in Boston, Massachusetts. With more than 4,000 faculty members and more than 31,000 students, Boston University is one of the largest private universities in the United States and one of Boston's largest employers...

, New York University
New York University
New York University is a private, nonsectarian research university based in New York City. NYU's main campus is situated in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan...

, MIT, and gradually most universities in Canada and the United States.

Facebook incorporated
Incorporation (business)
Incorporation is the forming of a new corporation . The corporation may be a business, a non-profit organisation, sports club, or a government of a new city or town...

 in the summer of 2004, and the entrepreneur Sean Parker
Sean Parker
Sean Parker is an American technology businessman and entrepreneur. He co-founded Napster, Plaxo, Causes, and Airtime, and was Facebook's founding president. His net worth is estimated at $2.1 billion.-Early life:...

, who had been informally advising Zuckerberg, became the company's president. In June 2004, Facebook moved its base of operations to Palo Alto, California
Palo Alto, California
Palo Alto is a California charter city located in the northwest corner of Santa Clara County, in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, United States. The city shares its borders with East Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Stanford, Portola Valley, and Menlo Park. It is...

. It received its first investment later that month from PayPal
PayPal
PayPal is an American-based global e-commerce business allowing payments and money transfers to be made through the Internet. Online money transfers serve as electronic alternatives to paying with traditional paper methods, such as checks and money orders....

 co-founder Peter Thiel
Peter Thiel
Peter Andreas Thiel is an American business magnate, venture capitalist, and hedge fund manager. With Elon Musk and Max Levchin, Thiel co-founded PayPal and was its CEO...

. The company dropped The from its name after purchasing the domain name
Domain name
A domain name is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority, or control in the Internet. Domain names are formed by the rules and procedures of the Domain Name System ....

 facebook.com in 2005 for $200,000.
Facebook launched a high-school version in September 2005, which Zuckerberg called the next logical step. At that time, high-school networks required an invitation to join. Facebook later expanded membership eligibility to employees of several companies, including Apple Inc. and Microsoft
Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

. Facebook was then opened on September 26, 2006, to everyone of age 13 and older with a valid email address.

On October 24, 2007, Microsoft announced that it had purchased a 1.6% share of Facebook for $240 million, giving Facebook a total implied value of around $15 billion. Microsoft's purchase included rights to place international ads on Facebook. In October 2008, Facebook announced that it would set up its international headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. In September 2009, Facebook said that it had turned cash-flow positive for the first time. In November 2010, based on SecondMarket
SecondMarket
SecondMarket is an online marketplace for buying and selling illiquid assets, including auction‐rate securities, bankruptcy claims, limited partnership interests, private company stock, restricted securities in public companies, structured products, and whole loans.SecondMarket's participants...

 Inc., an exchange for shares of privately held companies, Facebook's value was $41 billion (slightly surpassing eBay
EBay
eBay Inc. is an American internet consumer-to-consumer corporation that manages eBay.com, an online auction and shopping website in which people and businesses buy and sell a broad variety of goods and services worldwide...

's) and it became the third largest U.S. Web company after Google
Google
Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

 and Amazon
Amazon.com
Amazon.com, Inc. is a multinational electronic commerce company headquartered in Seattle, Washington, United States. It is the world's largest online retailer. Amazon has separate websites for the following countries: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, and...

. Facebook has been identified as a possible candidate for an IPO
Initial public offering
An initial public offering or stock market launch, is the first sale of stock by a private company to the public. It can be used by either small or large companies to raise expansion capital and become publicly traded enterprises...

 by 2013. The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal is an American English-language international daily newspaper. It is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corporation, along with the Asian and European editions of the Journal....

 has reported that Facebook
Facebook
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

 is looking to raise as much as $10 billion in its IPO.

Traffic to Facebook increased steadily after 2009. More people visited Facebook than Google for the week ending March 13, 2010.

In March 2011 it was reported that Facebook removes approximately 20,000 profiles from the site every day for various infractions, including spam, inappropriate content and underage use, as part of its efforts to boost cyber security.

In early 2011, Facebook announced plans to move to its new headquarters, the former Sun Microsystems
Sun Microsystems
Sun Microsystems, Inc. was a company that sold :computers, computer components, :computer software, and :information technology services. Sun was founded on February 24, 1982...

 campus in Menlo Park, California
Menlo Park, California
Menlo Park, California is a city at the eastern edge of San Mateo County, in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, in the United States. It is bordered by San Francisco Bay on the north and east; East Palo Alto, Palo Alto, and Stanford to the south; Atherton, North Fair Oaks, and Redwood City...

.

Release of statistics by DoubleClick
DoubleClick
DoubleClick is a subsidiary of Google that develops and provides Internet ad serving services. Its clients include agencies, marketers and publishers who serve customers like Microsoft, General Motors, Coca-Cola, Motorola, L'Oréal, Palm, Inc., Apple Inc., Visa USA, Nike, Carlsberg among others...

 showed that Facebook reached one trillion pageviews in the month of June 2011, making it the most visited Web site in the world. It should however be noted that Google
Google
Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

 and some of its selected Web sites are not counted in the DoubleClick rankings.

Company



Ownership


The ownership percentages of the company are as follows. Mark Zuckerberg: 24%, Accel Partners
Accel Partners
Accel Partners is a global venture and growth equity firm funding companies from inception through the growth stage.The firm is based in Palo Alto, California with major offices in Bangalore, Beijing, London, and Shanghai....

: 10%, Digital Sky Technologies
Digital Sky Technologies
Digital Sky Technologies or Mail.Ru Group is an international investment firm focused solely on the Internet sector. The firm was founded by Yuri Milner and emerged out of Mail.ru Group...

: 10%, Dustin Moskovitz
Dustin Moskovitz
Dustin Moskovitz is an American internet entrepreneur who co-founded the social networking website Facebook along with Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin and Chris Hughes. Moskovitz owns a 6% share of Facebook. He is also a co-founder and the CEO of Asana. Moskovitz is Jewish...

: 6%, Eduardo Saverin
Eduardo Saverin
Eduardo P. Saverin is a Brazilian-born American internet entrepreneur and investor. Saverin is best known for co-founding Facebook, along with Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes...

: 5%, Sean Parker
Sean Parker
Sean Parker is an American technology businessman and entrepreneur. He co-founded Napster, Plaxo, Causes, and Airtime, and was Facebook's founding president. His net worth is estimated at $2.1 billion.-Early life:...

: 4%, Peter Thiel
Peter Thiel
Peter Andreas Thiel is an American business magnate, venture capitalist, and hedge fund manager. With Elon Musk and Max Levchin, Thiel co-founded PayPal and was its CEO...

: 3%, Greylock Partners and Meritech Capital Partners
Meritech Capital Partners
Meritech Capital Partners is a private equity firm focused on late stage venture capital investments in information technology companies with a focus on consumer Internet and media, software and services, enterprise infrastructure, and medical devices....

: between 1 to 2% each, Microsoft
Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

: 1.3%, Li Ka-shing: 0.75%, the Interpublic Group: less than 0.5%. A small group of current and former employees and celebrities own less than 1% each, including Matt Cohler
Matt Cohler
Matt Cohler is an American venture capitalist based in Silicon Valley. He worked as Vice President of Product Management for Facebook until June 2008 and is currently a general partner at Benchmark Capital....

, Jeff Rothschild, Adam D'Angelo
Adam D'Angelo
Adam D'Angelo is the chief executive and co-founder of Quora, an online knowledge market based in Palo Alto, California.He was chief technology officer of Facebook, and also served as its vice president of engineering.He left Facebook in 2008...

, Chris Hughes, and Owen Van Natta
Owen Van Natta
Owen Van Natta is currently the Executive Vice President of Business at Zynga, an internet company that makes online social games. In this position, Van Natta is responsible for the company’s revenue strategy, corporate development, international expansion and brand. Prior to officially joining...

, while Reid Hoffman
Reid Hoffman
Reid G. Hoffman is an American entrepreneur and venture capitalist. Hoffman is best known as the co-founder of LinkedIn, a social network used primarily for business connections and job searching.-Early education and career:...

 and Mark Pincus
Mark Pincus
Mark Jonathan Pincus is an Internet entrepreneur best known as the co-founder of Zynga, which makes online social games. Pincus also founded Freeloader, Inc., Tribe Networks, and SupportSoft. Pincus currently serves as CEO of Zynga, which had 232 million monthly active users as of July 1, 2011...

 have sizable holdings of the company. The remaining 30% or so are owned by employees, an undisclosed number of celebrities, and outside investors. Adam D'Angelo
Adam D'Angelo
Adam D'Angelo is the chief executive and co-founder of Quora, an online knowledge market based in Palo Alto, California.He was chief technology officer of Facebook, and also served as its vice president of engineering.He left Facebook in 2008...

, chief technology officer and friend of Zuckerberg, resigned in May 2008. Reports claimed that he and Zuckerberg began quarreling, and that he was no longer interested in partial ownership of the company.

Management


Key management personnel comprise Chris Cox (VP of Product), Sheryl Sandberg (COO), and Donald E. Graham
Donald E. Graham
Donald E. Graham is chief executive officer and Chairman of The Washington Post Company. He is also the director and chairman of Facebook Inc.- Early life :...

 (Chairman). , Facebook has over 2,000 employees, and offices in 15 countries.

Revenue


Most of Facebook's revenue comes from advertising. Microsoft is Facebook's exclusive partner for serving banner advertising
Web banner
A web banner or banner ad is a form of advertising on the World Wide Web delivered by an ad server. This form of online advertising entails embedding an advertisement into a web page. It is intended to attract traffic to a website by linking to the website of the advertiser...

, and therefore Facebook serves only advertisements that exist in Microsoft's advertisement inventory
Advertising network
An online advertising network or ad network is a company that connects advertisers to web sites that want to host advertisements. The key function of an ad network is aggregation of ad space supply from publishers and matching it with advertiser demand...

.
Facebook generally has a lower clickthrough rate (CTR) for advertisements than most major Web sites. According to BusinessWeek.com, banner advertisements on Facebook have generally received one-fifth the number of clicks compared to those on the Web as a whole, although specific comparisons can reveal a much larger disparity. For example, while Google
Google
Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

 users click on the first advertisement for search results an average of 8% of the time (80,000 clicks for every one million searches), Facebook's users click on advertisements an average of 0.04% of the time (400 clicks for every one million pages).

Sarah Smith, who was Facebook's Online Sales Operations Manager, reports that successful advertising campaign
Advertising campaign
An advertising campaign is a series of advertisement messages that share a single idea and theme which make up an integrated marketing communication...

s on the site can have clickthrough rates as low as 0.05% to 0.04%, and that CTR for ads tend to fall within two weeks. By comparison, the CTR for competing social network MySpace
MySpace
Myspace is a social networking service owned by Specific Media LLC and pop star Justin Timberlake. Myspace launched in August 2003 and is headquartered in Beverly Hills, California. In August 2011, Myspace had 33.1 million unique U.S. visitors....

 is about 0.1%, about 2.5 times better than Facebook's rate but still low compared to many other Web sites. According to BizReport.com, Facebook's low CTR is because Facebook users are more technologically savvy and therefore use ad blocking software to hide advertisements, users are younger and therefore better at ignoring advertising messages, users spend their time communicating with friends and therefore have their attention diverted away from advertisements.

On pages for brands and products, however, some companies have reported CTR as high as 6.49% for Wall posts. Involver, a social marketing platform, announced in July 2008 that it managed to attain a CTR of 0.7% on Facebook (over 10 times the typical CTR for Facebook ad campaigns) for its first client, Serena Software
Serena Software
Serena Software Inc is US-based software company.Serena develops and markets products focused on managing change across information technology environments...

, managing to convert 1.1 million views into 8,000 visitors to their Web site. A study found that, for video advertisements on Facebook, over 40% of users who viewed the videos viewed the entire video, while the industry average was 25% for in-banner video ads.

Mergers and acquisitions



On November 15, 2010, Facebook announced it had acquired the domain name fb.com from the American Farm Bureau Federation
American Farm Bureau Federation
The American Farm Bureau Federation , commonly referred to as the Farm Bureau, is a nonprofit organization and the largest general farm organization in the United States...

 for an undisclosed amount. On January 11, 2011, the Farm Bureau disclosed $8.5 million in "domain sales income", making the acquisition of FB.com one of the ten highest domain sales in history.

Operations


A custom-built data center
Data center
A data center is a facility used to house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems...

 with substantially reduced ("38% less") power consumption compared to existing Facebook data centers opened in April 2011 in Prineville, Oregon
Prineville, Oregon
Prineville is a city in and the county seat of Crook County, Oregon, United States. It was named for the first merchant located in the present location, Barney Prine. The population was 9,253 at the 2010 census.- History :...

.

Website



Users can create profiles with photos, lists of personal interests, contact information, and other personal information. Users can communicate with friends and other users through private or public messages and a chat feature. They can also create and join interest groups and "like pages" (called "fan pages" until April 19, 2010), some of which are maintained by organizations as a means of advertising.

To allay concerns about privacy, Facebook enables users to choose their own privacy settings and choose who can see specific parts of their profile. The Web site is free to users, and generates revenue from advertising, such as banner ads
Web banner
A web banner or banner ad is a form of advertising on the World Wide Web delivered by an ad server. This form of online advertising entails embedding an advertisement into a web page. It is intended to attract traffic to a website by linking to the website of the advertiser...

. Facebook requires a user's name and profile picture (if applicable) to be accessible by everyone. Users can control who sees other information they have shared, as well as who can find them in searches, through their privacy settings.

The media often compares Facebook to MySpace
MySpace
Myspace is a social networking service owned by Specific Media LLC and pop star Justin Timberlake. Myspace launched in August 2003 and is headquartered in Beverly Hills, California. In August 2011, Myspace had 33.1 million unique U.S. visitors....

, but one significant difference between the two Web sites is the level of customization. Another difference is Facebook's requirement that users give their true identity, a demand that MySpace does not make. MySpace allows users to decorate their profiles using HTML
HTML
HyperText Markup Language is the predominant markup language for web pages. HTML elements are the basic building-blocks of webpages....

 and Cascading Style Sheets
Cascading Style Sheets
Cascading Style Sheets is a style sheet language used to describe the presentation semantics of a document written in a markup language...

 (CSS), while Facebook allows only plain text
Plain text
In computing, plain text is the contents of an ordinary sequential file readable as textual material without much processing, usually opposed to formatted text....

. Facebook has a number of features with which users may interact. They include the Wall, a space on every user's profile page that allows friends to post messages for the user to see; Pokes, which allows users to send a virtual "poke" to each other (a notification then tells a user that they have been poked); Photos, where users can upload albums and photos; and Status, which allows users to inform their friends of their whereabouts and actions. Depending on privacy settings, anyone who can see a user's profile can also view that user's Wall. In July 2007, Facebook began allowing users to post attachments to the Wall, whereas the Wall was previously limited to textual content only.

On September 6, 2006, a News Feed was announced, which appears on every user's homepage and highlights information including profile changes, upcoming events, and birthdays of the user's friends. This enabled spammers and other users to manipulate these features by creating illegitimate events or posting fake birthdays to attract attention to their profile or cause. Initially, the News Feed caused dissatisfaction among Facebook users; some complained it was too cluttered and full of undesired information, others were concerned that it made it too easy for others to track individual activities (such as relationship status changes, events, and conversations with other users).

In response, Zuckerberg issued an apology for the site's failure to include appropriate customizable privacy features. Since then, users have been able to control what types of information are shared automatically with friends. Users are now able to prevent user-set categories of friends from seeing updates about certain types of activities, including profile changes, Wall posts, and newly added friends.

On February 23, 2010, Facebook was granted a patent on certain aspects of its News Feed. The patent covers News Feeds in which links are provided so that one user can participate in the same activity of another user. The patent may encourage Facebook to pursue action against Web sites that violate its patent, which may potentially include Web sites such as Twitter
Twitter
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as "tweets".Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched that July...

.

One of the most popular applications on Facebook is the Photos application, where users can upload albums and photos. Facebook allows users to upload an unlimited number of photos, compared with other image hosting service
Image hosting service
An image hosting service allows individuals to upload images to an Internet website. The image host will then store the image onto its server, and show the individual different types of code to allow others to view that image....

s such as Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket is an image hosting, video hosting, slideshow creation and photo sharing website. It was founded in 2003 by Alex Welch and Darren Crystal and received funding from Trinity Ventures. It was acquired by Fox Interactive Media in 2007....

 and Flickr
Flickr
Flickr is an image hosting and video hosting website, web services suite, and online community that was created by Ludicorp in 2004 and acquired by Yahoo! in 2005. In addition to being a popular website for users to share and embed personal photographs, the service is widely used by bloggers to...

, which apply limits to the number of photos that a user is allowed to upload. During the first years, Facebook users were limited to 60 photos per album. As of May 2009, this limit has been increased to 200 photos per album.

Privacy settings can be set for individual albums, limiting the groups of users that can see an album. For example, the privacy of an album can be set so that only the user's friends can see the album, while the privacy of another album can be set so that all Facebook users can see it. Another feature of the Photos application is the ability to "tag
Tag (metadata)
In online computer systems terminology, a tag is a non-hierarchical keyword or term assigned to a piece of information . This kind of metadata helps describe an item and allows it to be found again by browsing or searching...

", or label, users in a photo. For instance, if a photo contains a user's friend, then the user can tag the friend in the photo. This sends a notification to the friend that they have been tagged, and provides them a link to see the photo.

Facebook Notes was introduced on August 22, 2006, a blogging feature that allowed tags and embeddable images. Users were later able to import blogs from Xanga
Xanga
Xanga is a website that hosts weblogs, photoblogs, and social networking profiles. It is operated by Xanga.com, Inc., based in New York City.-Origins:...

, LiveJournal
LiveJournal
LiveJournal is a virtual community where Internet users can keep a blog, journal or diary. LiveJournal is also the name of the free and open source server software that was designed to run the LiveJournal virtual community....

, Blogger
Blogger (service)
Blogger is a blog-publishing service that allows private or multi-user blogs with time-stamped entries. It was created by Pyra Labs, which was bought by Google in 2003. Generally, the blogs are hosted by Google at a subdomain of blogspot.com. Up until May 1, 2010 Blogger allowed users to publish...

, and other blogging services. During the week of April 7, 2008, Facebook released a Comet
Comet (programming)
Comet is a web application model in which a long-held HTTP request allows a web server to push data to a browser, without the browser explicitly requesting it. Comet is an umbrella term, encompassing multiple techniques for achieving this interaction. All these methods rely on features included by...

-based instant messaging
Instant messaging
Instant Messaging is a form of real-time direct text-based chatting communication in push mode between two or more people using personal computers or other devices, along with shared clients. The user's text is conveyed over a network, such as the Internet...

 application called "Chat" to several networks, which allows users to communicate with friends and is similar in functionality to desktop-based instant messengers.

Facebook launched Gifts on February 8, 2007, which allows users to send virtual gifts to their friends that appear on the recipient's profile. Gifts cost $1.00 each to purchase, and a personalized message can be attached to each gift. On May 14, 2007, Facebook launched Marketplace, which lets users post free classified ads. Marketplace has been compared to Craigslist
Craigslist
Craigslist is a centralized network of online communities featuring free online classified advertisements, with sections devoted to jobs, housing, personals, for sale, services, community, gigs, résumés, and discussion forums....

 by CNET
CNET
CNET is a tech media website that publishes news articles, blogs, and podcasts on technology and consumer electronics. Originally founded in 1994 by Halsey Minor and Shelby Bonnie, it was the flagship brand of CNET Networks and became a brand of CBS Interactive through CNET Networks' acquisition...

, which points out that the major difference between the two is that listings posted by a user on Marketplace are seen only by users in the same network as that user, whereas listings posted on Craigslist can be seen by anyone.

On July 20, 2008, Facebook introduced "Facebook Beta", a significant redesign of its user interface on selected networks. The Mini-Feed and Wall were consolidated, profiles were separated into tabbed sections, and an effort was made to create a "cleaner" look. After initially giving users a choice to switch, Facebook began migrating all users to the new version starting in September 2008. On December 11, 2008, it was announced that Facebook was testing a simpler signup process.

On June 13, 2009, Facebook introduced a "Usernames" feature, whereby pages can be linked with simpler URLs such as http://www.facebook.com/facebook instead of http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=20531316728. Many new smartphone
Smartphone
A smartphone is a high-end mobile phone built on a mobile computing platform, with more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a contemporary feature phone. The first smartphones were devices that mainly combined the functions of a personal digital assistant and a mobile phone or camera...

s offer access to Facebook services through either their Web browsers or applications. An official Facebook application is available for the operating systems Android, iOS
IOS
iOS is an operating system for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Apple TV.IOS may also refer to:-Companies and organisations:* Illinois Ornithological Society, American state-based bird club...

, and webOS. Nokia
Nokia
Nokia Corporation is a Finnish multinational communications corporation that is headquartered in Keilaniemi, Espoo, a city neighbouring Finland's capital Helsinki...

 and Research In Motion
Research In Motion
Research In Motion Limited or RIM is a Canadian multinational telecommunications company headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada that designs, manufactures and markets wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market...

 both provide Facebook applications for their own mobile devices. More than 150 million active users access Facebook through mobile devices across 200 mobile operators in 60 countries.

On November 15, 2010, Facebook announced a new "Facebook Messages" service. In a media event that day, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, "It's true that people will be able to have an @facebook.com email addresses, but it's not email". The launch of such a feature had been anticipated for some time before the announcement, with some calling it a "Gmail killer". The system, to be available to all of the Web site's users, combines text messaging
Text messaging
Text messaging, or texting, refers to the exchange of brief written text messages between fixed-line phone or mobile phone and fixed or portable devices over a network...

, instant messaging
Instant messaging
Instant Messaging is a form of real-time direct text-based chatting communication in push mode between two or more people using personal computers or other devices, along with shared clients. The user's text is conveyed over a network, such as the Internet...

, email
Email
Electronic mail, commonly known as email or e-mail, is a method of exchanging digital messages from an author to one or more recipients. Modern email operates across the Internet or other computer networks. Some early email systems required that the author and the recipient both be online at the...

s, and regular messages, and will include privacy settings similar to those of other Facebook services. Codenamed "Project Titan", Facebook Messages took 15 months to develop.

In February 2011, Facebook began to use the hCalendar microformat
HCalendar
hCalendar is a microformat standard for displaying a semantic HTML representation of iCalendar-format calendar information about an event, on web pages, using HTML classes and rel attributes....

 to mark up events, and the hCard microformat
HCard
hCard is a microformat for publishing the contact details of people, companies, organizations, and places, in HTML, Atom, RSS, or arbitrary XML...

 for the events' venues, enabling the extraction of details to users' own calendar or mapping applications.

Since April 2011 Facebook users have had the ability to make live voice calls via Facebook Chat, allowing users to chat with others from all over the world. This feature, which is provided free through T-Mobile's new Bobsled service, lets the user add voice to the current Facebook Chat as well as leave voice messages on Facebook.

On July 6, 2011, Facebook launched its video calling services using Skype as its technology partner. It allows one to one calling using a Skype Rest API.

On September 14, 2011, Facebook launched a Subscribe button. The feature allows for users to follow public updates, and these are the people most often broadcasting their ideas. There were major modifications that the site released on September 22, 2011.

Privacy


According to comScore
ComScore
comScore is a Internet marketing research company providing marketing data and services to many of the Internet's largest businesses. comScore tracks all internet data on its surveyed computers in order to study online behavior....

, an internet marketing research
Marketing research
Marketing research is "the function that links the consumer, customer, and public to the marketer through information — information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems; generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance; and improve...

 company, Facebook collects as much data from its visitors as Google and Microsoft, but considerably less than Yahoo!
Yahoo!
Yahoo! Inc. is an American multinational internet corporation headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, United States. The company is perhaps best known for its web portal, search engine , Yahoo! Directory, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Groups, Yahoo! Answers, advertising, online mapping ,...

. In 2010, the security team began expanding its efforts to reduce the risks to users' privacy
Privacy
Privacy is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves or information about themselves and thereby reveal themselves selectively...

, but privacy concerns remain. On November 6, 2007, Facebook launched Facebook Beacon
Facebook Beacon
Beacon was a part of Facebook's advertisement system that sent data from external websites to Facebook, for the purpose of allowing targeted advertisements and allowing users to share their activities with their friends. Certain activities on partner sites were published to a user's News Feed....

, which was an ultimately failed attempt to advertise to friends of users using the knowledge of what purchases friends made.
FTC Settlement

On November 29, 2011, Facebook agreed to settle US Federal Trade Commission
Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1914 by the Federal Trade Commission Act...

 charges that it deceived consumers by failing to keep privacy promises.

Reception


According to comScore
ComScore
comScore is a Internet marketing research company providing marketing data and services to many of the Internet's largest businesses. comScore tracks all internet data on its surveyed computers in order to study online behavior....

, Facebook is the leading social networking site based on monthly unique visitors, having overtaken main competitor MySpace
MySpace
Myspace is a social networking service owned by Specific Media LLC and pop star Justin Timberlake. Myspace launched in August 2003 and is headquartered in Beverly Hills, California. In August 2011, Myspace had 33.1 million unique U.S. visitors....

 in April 2008. ComScore reports that Facebook attracted 130 million unique visitors in May 2010, an increase of 8.6 million people. According to Alexa
Alexa Internet
Alexa Internet, Inc. is a California-based subsidiary company of Amazon.com that is known for its toolbar and Web site. Once installed, the toolbar collects data on browsing behavior which is transmitted to the Web site where it is stored and analyzed and is the basis for the company's Web traffic...

, the Web site's ranking among all Web sites increased from 60th to 7th in worldwide traffic, from September 2006 to September 2007, and is currently 2nd. Quantcast
Quantcast
Quantcast is a California based company that provides publishers and marketers with the ability to understand, deliver and reach their best audiences at a massive scale...

 ranks the Web site 2nd in the U.S. in traffic, and Compete.com
Compete.com
Compete.com is a web traffic analysis service of Compete, Inc. which operates in the United States and publishes the approximate number of global visitors to the top 1,000,000 web sites in the world...

 ranks it 2nd in the U.S. The Web site is the most popular for uploading photos, with 50 billion uploaded cumulatively. In 2010, Sophos
Sophos
Sophos is a developer and vendor of security software and hardware, including anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-spam, network access control, encryption software and data loss prevention for desktops, servers, email systems and other network gateways....

's "Security Threat Report 2010" polled over 500 firms, 60% of which responded that they believed that Facebook was the social network that posed the biggest threat to security, well ahead of MySpace, Twitter, and LinkedIn
LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a business-related social networking site. Founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. , LinkedIn reports more than 120 million registered users in more than 200 countries and territories. The site is available in English, French,...

.

Facebook is the most popular social networking site in several English-speaking countries, including Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, the United Kingdom, and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. In regional Internet markets, Facebook penetration is highest in North America (69 percent), followed by Middle East-Africa (67 percent), Latin America (58 percent), Europe (57 percent), and Asia-Pacific (17 percent).

The Web site has won awards such as placement into the "Top 100 Classic Websites" by PC Magazine
PC Magazine
PC Magazine is a computer magazine published by Ziff Davis Publishing Holdings Inc. A print edition was published from 1982 to January 2009...

in 2007, and winning the "People's Voice Award" from the Webby Awards in 2008. In a 2006 study conducted by Student Monitor, a New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

-based company specializing in research concerning the college student market, Facebook was named the second most popular thing among undergraduates, tied with beer
Beer
Beer is the world's most widely consumed andprobably oldest alcoholic beverage; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is produced by the brewing and fermentation of sugars, mainly derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat...

 and only ranked lower than the iPod
IPod
iPod is a line of portable media players created and marketed by Apple Inc. The product line-up currently consists of the hard drive-based iPod Classic, the touchscreen iPod Touch, the compact iPod Nano, and the ultra-compact iPod Shuffle...

.

On March 2010, Judge Richard Seeborg issued an order approving the class settlement in Lane v. Facebook, Inc.
Lane v. Facebook, Inc.
Lane v. Facebook was a class-action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California regarding internet privacy and social media. In December 2007, Facebook launched Beacon, which resulted in user's private information being posted on Facebook without consent. A...

, the class action lawsuit arising out of Facebook's Beacon program.

In 2010, Facebook won the Crunchie
Crunchie
Crunchie is a brand of chocolate bar with a "honeycombed" sugar centre. It is made by Cadbury UK and was originally launched by J. S. Fry & Sons in 1929...

 "Best Overall Startup Or Product" for the third year in a row and was recognized as one of the "Hottest Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley is a term which refers to the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California in the United States. The region is home to many of the world's largest technology corporations...

 Companies" by Lead411. However, in a July 2010 survey performed by the American Customer Satisfaction Index
American Customer Satisfaction Index
The American Customer Satisfaction Index is an economic indicator that measures the satisfaction of consumers across the U.S. economy. It is produced by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, a private company based in Ann Arbor, Michigan....

, Facebook received a score of 64 out of 100, placing it in the bottom 5% of all private-sector companies in terms of customer satisfaction, alongside industries such as the IRS e-file system, airline
Airline
An airline provides air transport services for traveling passengers and freight. Airlines lease or own their aircraft with which to supply these services and may form partnerships or alliances with other airlines for mutual benefit...

s, and cable companies. The reasons why Facebook scored so poorly include privacy problems, frequent changes to the Web site's interface, the results returned by the News Feed, and spam.

In December 2008, the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory
Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory
The Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory is the superior court for the ACT. It has unlimited jurisdiction within the territory in civil matters , and hears the most serious criminal matters...

 ruled that Facebook is a valid protocol
Protocol (diplomacy)
In international politics, protocol is the etiquette of diplomacy and affairs of state.A protocol is a rule which guides how an activity should be performed, especially in the field of diplomacy. In diplomatic services and governmental fields of endeavor protocols are often unwritten guidelines...

 to serve court notices to defendants. It is believed to be the world's first legal judgement that defines a summons
Summons
Legally, a summons is a legal document issued by a court or by an administrative agency of government for various purposes.-Judicial summons:...

 posted on Facebook as legally binding. In March 2009, the New Zealand High Court associate justice David Gendall allowed for the serving of legal papers on Craig Axe by the company Axe Market Garden via Facebook. Employers (such as Virgin Atlantic Airways
Virgin Atlantic Airways
Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited is a British airline owned by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Singapore Airlines...

) have also used Facebook as a means to keep tabs on their employees and have even been known to fire them over posts they have made.

By 2005, the use of Facebook had already become so ubiquitous that the generic verb "facebooking" had come into use to describe the process of browsing others' profiles or updating one's own. In 2008, Collins English Dictionary
Collins English Dictionary
The Collins English Dictionary is an important printed dictionary of English. It is published by HarperCollins.The first edition of the Collins English Dictionary with Patrick Hanks as editor and Lawrence Urdang as editorial director, was a milestone in British dictionary making as it was the...

 declared "Facebook" as its new Word of the Year. In December 2009, the New Oxford American Dictionary
New Oxford American Dictionary
The New Oxford American Dictionary is a single-volume dictionary of American English compiled by American editors at the Oxford University Press....

 declared its word of the year to be the verb "unfriend", defined as "To remove someone as a 'friend' on a social networking site such as Facebook. As in, 'I decided to unfriend my roommate on Facebook after we had a fight.'"

In April 2010, according to The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

, countries with the most Facebook users were the United States, the United Kingdom, and Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

. Indonesia has become the country with the second largest number of Facebook users, after the United States, with 24 million users, or 10% of Indonesia's population. Also in early 2010, Openbook was established, an avowed parody
Parody
A parody , in current usage, is an imitative work created to mock, comment on, or trivialise an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of humorous, satiric or ironic imitation...

 (and privacy advocacy) Web site that enables text-based searches of those Wall posts that are available to "Everyone", i.e. to everyone on the Internet.

Writers for The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal is an American English-language international daily newspaper. It is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corporation, along with the Asian and European editions of the Journal....

found in 2010 that Facebook apps were transmitting identifying information to "dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies". The apps used an HTTP referrer which exposed the user's identity and sometimes their friends'. Facebook said, "We have taken immediate action to disable all applications that violate our terms".

Criticism


Facebook has met with controversies
Criticism of Facebook
Facebook's growth as an Internet social networking site has met criticism on a range of issues, including online privacy, child safety, and the inability to terminate accounts without first manually deleting the content. In 2008, many companies removed their advertising from the site because it was...

. It has been blocked intermittently in several countries including the People's Republic of China, Vietnam, Iran, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Syria, and Bangladesh on different bases. For example, it was banned in many countries of the world on the basis of allowed content judged as anti-Islamic and containing religious discrimination. It has also been banned at many workplaces to prevent employees from using it during work hours. The privacy of Facebook users has also been an issue, and the safety of user accounts has been compromised several times. Facebook has settled a lawsuit regarding claims over source code and intellectual property. In May 2011 emails were sent to journalists and bloggers making critical allegations about Google's privacy policies; however it was later discovered that the anti-Google campaign, conducted by PR giant Burson-Marsteller, was paid for by Facebook in what CNN referred to as "a new level skullduggery" and which Daily Beast called a "clumsy smear".

In July 2011 German authorities began to discuss the prohibition of events organized on Facebook. The decision is based on several cases of overcrowding by people not originally invited. 1600 "guests" attended the 16th birthday party for a Hamburg girl who accidentally posted the invitation of the event as public. After reports of overcrowding, more than a hundred police were deployed for crowd control. A policeman was injured and eleven participants were arrested for assault, property damage and resistance to authorities. In another unexpected event with overcrowding, 41 young people were arrested and at least 16 injured.

In May 2011, HCL Technologies
HCL Technologies
HCL Technologies Limited is a leading global IT services company headquartered in Noida, India. It is primarily engaged in providing a range of software services, business process outsourcing and infrastructure services. HCL Technologies is fourth largest IT company in India and is ranked 48 in...

 announced that approximately 50% of British employers had banned Facebook from the work place.

A 2011 study by Internet scholars danah boyd, Eszther Hargittai, Jason Schultz and John Palfrey in the online journal First Monday, “Why Parents Help Their Children Lie to Facebook About Age: Unintended Consequences of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act," examines how parents consistently enable children as young as 10 years old to sign up for accounts, directly violating Facebook's policy banning young visitors. This policy technically allows Facebook to avoid conflicts with the 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), requiring that minors aged 13 or younger gain explicit parental consent to access commercial websites. Of the more than 1,000 households surveyed for the study, more than three-quarters (76%) of parents reported that their child joined Facebook when she was younger than 13, the minimum age in the site’s terms of service. The study notes that, in response to widespread reports of underage users, a Facebook executive has said that “Facebook removes 20,000 people a day, people who are underage." The study's authors also note, "Indeed, Facebook takes various measures both to restrict access to children and delete their accounts if they join." The findings of the study raise questions primarily about the shortcomings of federal law, but also implicitly continue to raise questions about whether or not Facebook does enough to publicize its terms of service with respect to minors. Only 53% of parents said they were aware that Facebook has a minimum signup age; 35% of these parents believe that the minimum age is a site recommendation (not a condition of site use), or thought the signup age was 16 or 18, and not 13.

In November 2011, several Facebook users reported that their accounts were hacked and their profile pictures were morphed into pornographic images. For more than a week, users' news feeds were spammed with pornographic, violent and sexual contents. It has been reported that more than 200,000 accounts in Bangalore
Bangalore
Bengaluru , formerly called Bengaluru is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka. Bangalore is nicknamed the Garden City and was once called a pensioner's paradise. Located on the Deccan Plateau in the south-eastern part of Karnataka, Bangalore is India's third most populous city and...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 were hacked and Facebook denies it.

Media impact


In April 2011, Facebook launched a new portal for marketers and creative agencies to help them develop brand promotions on Facebook. The company began its push by inviting a select group of British advertising leaders to meet Facebook's top executives at an "influencers' summit" in February 2010. Facebook has now been involved in campaigns for True Blood
True Blood
True Blood is an American television series created and produced by Alan Ball. It is based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries series of novels by Charlaine Harris, detailing the co-existence of vampires and humans in Bon Temps, a fictional, small town in the state of Louisiana...

, American Idol
American Idol
American Idol, titled American Idol: The Search for a Superstar for the first season, is a reality television singing competition created by Simon Fuller and produced by FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment...

, and Top Gear.

Social impact


Facebook has affected the social life and activity of people in various ways. Especially with its availability on many mobile devices, Facebook allows users to continuously stay in touch with friends, relatives and other acquaintances wherever they are in the world, as long as there is access to the Internet. It can also unite people with common interests and/or beliefs through groups and other pages, and has been known to reunite lost family members and friends. One such reunion was between John Watson and the daughter he had been seeking for 20 years. They met after Watson found her Facebook profile. Another father-daughter reunion was between Tony Macnauton and Frances Simpson, who had not seen each other for nearly 48 years.

Some argue that Facebook is beneficial to one's social life because they can continuously stay in contact with their friends and relatives, while others say that it can cause increased antisocial tendencies because people are not directly communicating with each other. Some studies have named Facebook as a source of problems in relationships. Several news stories have suggested that using Facebook causes divorce
Divorce
Divorce is the final termination of a marital union, canceling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties...

 and infidelity
Infidelity
In many intimate relationships in many cultures there is usually an express or implied expectation of exclusivity, especially in sexual matters. Infidelity most commonly refers to a breach of the expectation of sexual exclusivity.Infidelity can occur in relation to physical intimacy and/or...

, but the claims have been questioned and refuted by other commentators.

Political impact


Facebook's role in the American political process was demonstrated in January 2008, shortly before the New Hampshire primary
New Hampshire primary
The New Hampshire primary is the first in a series of nationwide political party primary elections held in the United States every four years , as part of the process of choosing the Democratic and Republican nominees for the presidential elections to be held the subsequent November.Although only a...

, when Facebook teamed up with ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

 and Saint Anselm College
Saint Anselm College
Saint Anselm College is a nationally ranked, private, Benedictine, Catholic liberal arts college in Goffstown, New Hampshire. Founded in 1889 by Abbot Hilary Pfrängle, O.S.B. of Saint Mary's Abbey in Newark, New Jersey, at the request of Bishop Denis M. Bradley of Manchester, New Hampshire, the...

 to allow users to give live feedback about the "back to back" January 5 Republican and Democratic debates. Charles Gibson
Charles Gibson
Charles deWolf "Charlie" Gibson is a former American broadcast television anchor and journalist. He was a host of Good Morning America from 1987 to 1998 and 1999 to 2006 and anchor of World News with Charles Gibson from 2006 to 2009....

 moderated both debates, held at the Dana Center for the Humanities at Saint Anselm College. Facebook users took part in debate groups organized around specific topics, register to vote, and message questions.

Over a million people installed the Facebook application "US politics" in order to take part, and the application measured users' responses to specific comments made by the debating candidates. This debate showed the broader community what many young students had already experienced: Facebook was a popular and powerful new way to interact and voice opinions. An article by Michelle Sullivan of Uwire.com illustrates how the "facebook effect" has affected youth voting rates, support by youth of political candidates, and general involvement by the youth population in the 2008 election.

In February 2008, a Facebook group called "One Million Voices Against FARC" organized an event in which hundreds of thousands of Colombians marched in protest against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People's Army is a Marxist–Leninist revolutionary guerrilla organization based in Colombia which is involved in the ongoing Colombian armed conflict, currently involved in drug dealing and crimes against the civilians..FARC-EP is a peasant army which...

, better known as the FARC (from the group's Spanish name). In August 2010, one of North Korea's official government Web sites and the official news agency of the country, Uriminzokkiri
Uriminzokkiri
Uriminzokkiri is the official website of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea, distributing information over the web and, since August 2010, over Twitter. Articles of North Korean media are seen at the site....

, joined Facebook.

In 2010 an English director of public health, whose staff was researching syphilis
Syphilis
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the spirochete bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. The primary route of transmission is through sexual contact; however, it may also be transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy or at birth, resulting in congenital syphilis...

, linked and attributed a rise in cases of the disease in areas of Britain to Facebook. The reports of this research were rebuked by Facebook as "ignoring the difference between correlation
Correlation
In statistics, dependence refers to any statistical relationship between two random variables or two sets of data. Correlation refers to any of a broad class of statistical relationships involving dependence....

 and causation
Causality
Causality is the relationship between an event and a second event , where the second event is understood as a consequence of the first....

".

In 2011 a controversial ruling by French government to uphold a 1992 decree which stipulates that commercial enterprises should not be promoted on news programs. President Nicolas Sarkozy's colleagues have agreed has said that it will enforce a law so that the words "Facebook" will not be allowed to be spoken on the television or on the radio.

In 2011, Facebook filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission
Federal Election Commission
The Federal Election Commission is an independent regulatory agency that was founded in 1975 by the United States Congress to regulate the campaign finance legislation in the United States. It was created in a provision of the 1975 amendment to the Federal Election Campaign Act...

 to form a political action committee
Political action committee
In the United States, a political action committee, or PAC, is the name commonly given to a private group, regardless of size, organized to elect political candidates or to advance the outcome of a political issue or legislation. Legally, what constitutes a "PAC" for purposes of regulation is a...

 under the name FB PAC. In an email to The Hill
The Hill (newspaper)
The Hill, a subsidiary of News Communications Inc., is a newspaper published in Washington, D.C. since 1994.Its first editor was Martin Tolchin, a veteran correspondent in the Washington bureau of The New York Times....

, a spokesman for Facebook said "FB PAC will give our employees a way to make their voice heard in the political process by supporting candidates who share our goals of promoting the value of innovation to our economy while giving people the power to share and make the world more open and connected."

In popular culture


  • At age 102, Ivy Bean
    Ivy Bean
    Ivy Bean was a British internet personality, known for being the oldest person in the world on both Facebook and Twitter.-Early life:...

     of Bradford
    Bradford
    Bradford lies at the heart of the City of Bradford, a metropolitan borough of West Yorkshire, in Northern England. It is situated in the foothills of the Pennines, west of Leeds, and northwest of Wakefield. Bradford became a municipal borough in 1847, and received its charter as a city in 1897...

    , England joined Facebook in 2008, making her one of the oldest people ever on Facebook. An inspiration to other residents of the care home in which she lived, she quickly became more widely known and several fan pages were made in her honor. She visited Prime Minister Gordon Brown
    Gordon Brown
    James Gordon Brown is a British Labour Party politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 until 2010. He previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government from 1997 to 2007...

     and his wife, Sarah, in Downing Street
    Downing Street
    Downing Street in London, England has for over two hundred years housed the official residences of two of the most senior British cabinet ministers: the First Lord of the Treasury, an office now synonymous with that of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and the Second Lord of the Treasury, an...

     early in 2010. Some time after creating her Facebook page, Bean joined Twitter
    Twitter
    Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as "tweets".Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched that July...

    , when she passed the maximum number of friends allowed by Facebook. She became the oldest person to ever use the Twitter Web site. At the time of her death in July 2010, she had 4,962 friends on Facebook and more than 56,000 followers on Twitter. Her death was widely reported in the media and she received tributes from several notable media personalities.
  • "FriendFace", a December 2008 episode of the British sitcom, The IT Crowd
    The IT Crowd
    The IT Crowd is a British sitcom by Channel 4, written by Graham Linehan, produced by Ash Atalla and starring Chris O'Dowd, Richard Ayoade, Katherine Parkinson and Matt Berry...

    , parodied
    Parody
    A parody , in current usage, is an imitative work created to mock, comment on, or trivialise an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of humorous, satiric or ironic imitation...

     Facebook and social networking sites in general.
  • American author Ben Mezrich
    Ben Mezrich
    Ben Mezrich is an American author from Princeton, New Jersey. He graduated magna-cum-laude with a degree in Social Studies from Harvard University in 1991. Some of his books have been written under the pseudonym Holden Scott. Mezrich attended Princeton Day School, in Princeton, New Jersey...

     published a book in July 2009 about Mark Zuckerberg and the founding of Facebook, titled The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal.
  • In response to the Everybody Draw Mohammed Day
    Everybody Draw Mohammed Day
    Everybody Draw Mohammed Day was an event held on 20 May 2010 in support of free speech and freedom of artistic expression of those threatened by violence for drawing representations of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad...

     controversy and the ban of the Web site in Pakistan, an Islamic version of the Web site was created, called MillatFacebook
    MillatFacebook
    MillatFacebook is a Muslim-oriented social networking website. It was launched in May 2010 in response to a controversial group on Facebook entitled Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.-History:...

    .
  • "You Have 0 Friends
    You Have 0 Friends
    "You Have 0 Friends" is the fourth episode of the fourteenth season of the American animated television series South Park, and the 199th episode of the series overall. It first aired on Comedy Central in the United States on April 7, 2010...

    ", an April 2010 episode of the American animated comedy series, South Park
    South Park
    South Park is an American animated television series created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone for the Comedy Central television network. Intended for mature audiences, the show has become famous for its crude language, surreal, satirical, and dark humor that lampoons a wide range of topics...

    , parodied Facebook.
  • The Social Network
    The Social Network
    The Social Network is a 2010 American drama film directed by David Fincher and written by Aaron Sorkin. Adapted from Ben Mezrich's 2009 book The Accidental Billionaires, the film portrays the founding of social networking website Facebook and the resulting lawsuits...

    , a drama film
    Drama film
    A drama film is a film genre that depends mostly on in-depth development of realistic characters dealing with emotional themes. Dramatic themes such as alcoholism, drug addiction, infidelity, moral dilemmas, racial prejudice, religious intolerance, poverty, class divisions, violence against women...

     directed by David Fincher
    David Fincher
    David Andrew Leo Fincher is an American film and music video director. Known for his dark and stylish thrillers, such as Seven , The Game , Fight Club , Panic Room , and Zodiac , Fincher received Academy Award nominations for Best Director for his 2008 film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and...

     about the founding of Facebook, was released October 1, 2010. The film features an ensemble cast
    Ensemble cast
    An ensemble cast is made up of cast members in which the principal actors and performers are assigned roughly equal amounts of importance and screen time in a dramatic production. This kind of casting became more popular in television series because it allows flexibility for writers to focus on...

     consisting of Jesse Eisenberg
    Jesse Eisenberg
    Jesse Adam Eisenberg is an American actor. He made his screen debut with the comedy-drama television series Get Real from 1999 to 2000...

     as Mark Zuckerberg, Andrew Garfield
    Andrew Garfield
    Andrew Russell Garfield is an American-English actor who has appeared in radio, theatre, film, and television. His early roles include the films Lions for Lambs, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, and Boy A, which garnered him the 2007 BAFTA Television Award for "Best Actor".Garfield achieved...

     as Eduardo Saverin
    Eduardo Saverin
    Eduardo P. Saverin is a Brazilian-born American internet entrepreneur and investor. Saverin is best known for co-founding Facebook, along with Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes...

    , Justin Timberlake
    Justin Timberlake
    Justin Randall Timberlake is an American pop musician and actor. He achieved early fame when he appeared as a contestant on Star Search, and went on to star in the Disney Channel television series The New Mickey Mouse Club, where he met future bandmate JC Chasez...

     as Sean Parker
    Sean Parker
    Sean Parker is an American technology businessman and entrepreneur. He co-founded Napster, Plaxo, Causes, and Airtime, and was Facebook's founding president. His net worth is estimated at $2.1 billion.-Early life:...

    , and Armie Hammer
    Armie Hammer
    Armand Douglas "Armie" Hammer is an American actor. After appearing on television and playing the title role in 2008's Billy: The Early Years, he became known for his portrayal of the Winklevoss twins in the 2010 film The Social Network, and Clyde Tolson in J. Edgar...

     as Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss
    Cameron Winklevoss
    Cameron Howard Winklevoss is an American rower and entrepreneur. He competed in the men's pair rowing event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics with his identical twin brother and rowing partner Tyler Winklevoss. Cameron and his brother are known for co-founding HarvardConnection along with Harvard...

    . The film was written by Aaron Sorkin
    Aaron Sorkin
    Aaron Benjamin Sorkin is an Academy and Emmy award winning American screenwriter, producer, and playwright, whose works include A Few Good Men, The American President, The West Wing, Sports Night, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, The Social Network, and Moneyball.After graduating from Syracuse...

     and adapted from Ben Mezrich
    Ben Mezrich
    Ben Mezrich is an American author from Princeton, New Jersey. He graduated magna-cum-laude with a degree in Social Studies from Harvard University in 1991. Some of his books have been written under the pseudonym Holden Scott. Mezrich attended Princeton Day School, in Princeton, New Jersey...

    's 2009 book. The film was distributed by Columbia Pictures
    Columbia Pictures
    Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. is an American film production and distribution company. Columbia Pictures now forms part of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment, a subsidiary of the Japanese conglomerate Sony. It is one of the leading film companies...

    . No staff members of Facebook, including Zuckerberg, were involved with the project. However, one of Facebook's co-founders, Eduardo Saverin, was a consultant for Mezrich's book. Mark Zuckerberg has said that The Social Network is inaccurate.
  • On September 10, 2010 This American Life
    This American Life
    This American Life is a weekly hour-long radio program produced by WBEZ and hosted by Ira Glass. It is distributed by Public Radio International on PRI affiliate stations and is also available as a free weekly podcast. Primarily a journalistic non-fiction program, it has also featured essays,...

     aired their Right to Remain Silent episode. It featured a story about Joe Lipari using a quote from Fight Club
    Fight Club
    Fight Club is a 1996 novel by Chuck Palahniuk. It follows the experiences of an unnamed protagonist struggling with insomnia. Inspired by his doctor's exasperated remark that insomnia is not suffering, he finds relief by impersonating a seriously ill person in several support groups...

     as his Facebook
    Facebook
    Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

     status and being arrested on suspicions of terrorism
    Terrorism
    Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

    .
  • On February 22, 2011, an Egyptian baby was named "Facebook" to commemorate the vital role Facebook and other social media
    Social media
    The term Social Media refers to the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue. Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as "a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0,...

     played in Egypt's revolution.
  • On May 16, 2011, an Israeli couple named their daughter after the Facebook "like" feature. They explained that it wasn't to advertise for Facebook, but because they fancied the meaning behind the word.

See also



  • Ambient awareness
    Ambient Awareness
    Ambient awareness is a term used by social scientists to describe a new form of peripheral social awareness. This awareness is propagated from relatively constant contact with one's friends and colleagues via social networking platforms on the Internet. Some examples of social networking websites...

  • Cyberstalking
    Cyberstalking
    Cyberstalking is the use of the Internet or other electronic means to stalk or harass an individual, a group of individuals, or an organization. It may include false accusations, monitoring, making threats, identity theft, damage to data or equipment, the solicitation of minors for sex, or...

  • List of social networking websites
  • List of virtual communities with more than 100 million users
  • Six degrees of separation
    Six degrees of separation
    Six degrees of separation refers to the idea that everyone is on average approximately six steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person on Earth, so that a chain of, "a friend of a friend" statements can be made, on average, to connect any two people in six steps or fewer...



Further reading

  • Kirkpatrick, David, "Why Facebook matters: It's not just for arranging dates. And it's not just another social network. Facebook offers sophisticated tools for maintaining social relationships", Fortune
    Fortune (magazine)
    Fortune is a global business magazine published by Time Inc. Founded by Henry Luce in 1930, the publishing business, consisting of Time, Life, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated, grew to become Time Warner. In turn, AOL grew as it acquired Time Warner in 2000 when Time Warner was the world's largest...

    , October 6, 2006
  • Miller, Daniel
    Daniel Miller (anthropologist)
    Daniel Miller is an anthropologist most closely associated with studies of our relationships to things and the consequences of consumption. His theoretical work was first developed in Material Culture and Mass Consumption and is summarized more recently in his book Stuff...

    , Tales from Facebook, Polity
    Polity (publisher)
    Polity is an international publisher in the social sciences and humanities. It publishes around 100 books a year in sociology, politics, philosophy, media and cultural studies, health studies, literary studies, history, anthropology and related subjects. Its books range from core textbooks for...

     2011, ISBN 9780745652092

External links