February 4 – Happy Birthday, Facebook

Posted on February 4, 2016

Love it or hate it, you've almost certainly heard of Facebook.

It's the Number 1 social media networking site, with almost four times as many users as Number 2 (Twitter).

And it's 12 years old today!

Founder Mark Zuckerberg famously started the website while he was a student at Harvard University. Harvard students live in one of 12 residential houses, each with some 350 to 500 students, each with its own dining hall, common rooms, and other facilities. Many of the houses offered paper “Facebooks” to their members; these were directories with each house member's photo, name, and a bit of info. Zuckerberg used the photos from nine houses' Facebooks to make a “who's hotter?” online game that became immediately successful but was shut down almost as immediately by the Harvard administration. Zuckerberg was almost expelled, but he was inspired to go on with his project of making an online social network. He launched it on this date in 2004, under the name “Thefacebook,” located at thefacebook.com.

Zuckerberg was sued by other students who complained that he had tricked them—he had promised to help them build a Harvard social network, but (they said) instead he used their ideas to create a competing social network. They finally settled their lawsuit several years later for a hefty amount of shares in Facebook! Cha-ching!

Thefacebook was restricted to only students of Harvard, but after a month Zuckerberg and his business partners expanded to other Ivy League universities. Gradually, they widened the circle to more and more universities...then high school students...then anybody in the world who was at least 13 years old (or willing to lie about their age).

Almost two billion people in the world now use Facebook! Only about three billion people in the world use the internet at all, so that's a pretty good percentage of all web-surfers!

Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg has probably
had a Facebook profile a lot longer than
President Obama, who only got his
own FB profile in November of 2015!

The company is now worth more than 44 billion dollars!! And it employs more than 11 thousand people. Hmm...how is that possible, when we all use it for free?

Of course, there are many people, including people who actually use Facebook, who criticize aspects of the company, and/or aspects of social media at all! Here is a YouTube criticism that seems really apt! 

Also on this date:


Astronomer Clyde Tombaugh's birthday

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