Facebook is an online social network, founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, a former student at Harvard. In its early beginnings, Facebook was only used by students at Harvard University who communicated and exchanged information using Facebook. As time passed, many other universities, high schools and large companies around the world joined the network. Since its creation, Facebook has expanded at an astonishing rate, but most of user base expansion occurred after 2006. Today this website has more than 700 million active users and that number is growing each minute.
Facebook is also a top place for posting and sharing photos, with more than 14 million new photos added daily. Facebook, according to founder Mark Zuckerberg, was designed to be a place where people who already know each other in real life could stay connected on the Internet, unlike similar web services that were for online connections with people one did not necessarily know in the real world. As the Facebook home page says, it allows users to connect and socialize with people who are close to them and to people who work, study and live around them.
Many users use Facebook just to keep in touch with friends or relatives. This web service is completely free for all users, and it generates its revenues from sponsors and advertising through banners that appear next to each profile. One of the special features of Facebook is the ability to control each user’s privacy. According to their preferences a user can hide his profile and photos from unknown people. Nevertheless, during its existence Facebook has been a target of many critics because of privacy issues, and also because of censorship issues. Some of the criticism stemmed from the fact that the information that users reveal about themselves was used for marketing research, internal investigation of universities and companies, and even by the police.
Despite the criticism which has tailed it, Facebook is now the most popular service for socialization with a growing number of users, and has been deemed “The New Internet.” Mark Zuckerberg has the nickname “the new Bill Gates”. The value of Facebook is best shown by the fact that the Microsoft in the end of 2007 paid $240 million for only 1.6% of the shares. Few know how much of an impact FaceBook will have on the internet over the next 10 years, but it seems possible that the site will change the entire face of online communication.
About the author:
Claire Jarrett runs Marketing By Web – an AdWords Company UK
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