Monday, 28 March 2011

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A to Z Brief History of Facebook

  • Monday, 28 March 2011
  • Tommy MIA
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  • Facebook’s rise to prominence on the Internet has been meteoric. At the time of this writing, Facebook has more than 500 million members around the world and is still growing by leaps and bounds. Launched in February 2004 by Mark  Zuckerberg, then a student at Harvard University, Facebook took its name from the printed directories known as “face books” that students were given to help match their classmates’ names with their faces. (The various controversies about
    Facebook’s beginnings, and ensuing court battles, have been covered thoroughly by other books and at least one blockbuster film, so I won’t rehash those here.)  The original idea for Facebook was to build an online, interactive version of a traditional face book, which would allow students to create, personalize, and update their own profiles. Another key idea was that Facebook’s members would use their real names, and their identities would be verified by virtue of the fact that their profiles were linked to school-issued e-mail addresses. Unlike MySpace and other popular networking Web sites, no pseudonyms, aliases, or fake names would be allowed on Facebook, thus making its members accountable for how they
    behaved. Facebook’s membership was originally limited to Harvard, but the site proved so popular there that it was
    quickly expanded to other universities and colleges, and  then high schools, and then workplaces. The biggest turning point, however, came in September 2006 when Facebook dropped the requirement for a school- or work-issued e-mail account, effectively opening its doors to anyone older than 13 with a working e-mail address. By July 2007, nearly half of Facebook’s
    users were 35 and older, as parents and grandparents joined teenagers and college kids on its rolls. These days, according to Internet marketing research company comScore, Facebook has the most site traffic of any social media site in the world.

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