Facebook History

Social networks have been around for awhile now, and most are focused on connecting friends and colleagues. Bulletin Board Services (BBS) and Usenet groups were examples of early forms of social networks. As the concept evolved, generalized communities, like Geocities and Tripod (back in the mid-1990s), brought people together through chat rooms and forums. Today, social networks are flourishing all over the Web, including the ever-popular MySpace, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Some social sites, like Classmates.com, specialize in connecting former schoolmates, whereas other social sites, such as SixDegrees.com, focus on indirect ties between people. Some sites specialize in niche groups, whereas others aim for more generalized populations of people. Internet business strategies are recognizing the opportunities inherent in social networks and are happy to cater to different groups of people and their networking needs.

So where does Facebook fit in? Facebook is quickly becoming a front runner in the social networking race. Originally called The Facebook, Facebook started out in 2004 as a network geared toward college students at Harvard University. Founded by a computer science major, Mark Zuckerberg, and his roommates, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes, the project quickly gained popularity among students. With financing assistance from Eduardo Saverin, the site grew seemingly overnight.

The original idea was based on paper face books commonly used to acquaint students with the campus community, including staff, faculty, and incoming students. Initially, the website was only available to Harvard students, but rapidly expanded to other universities in the Boston, Massachusetts area. Eventually, the concept spread to other universities and high schools, and today, anyone with a valid email address can join the fray. Facebook swiftly became an Internet sensation, and in 2005, the facebook.com domain was purchased and the base of operations moved to California.

Although the site is free to join, it generates revenue through advertising, including banner ads. New features and updates are added regularly, and the Facebook folks are quick to heed the ideas, wants, and needs of its members. In 2007, the Facebook Platform was launched, allowing a framework for software developers to create applications for the site. Today, tens of thousands of applications are available for Facebook, with more added daily.

Source of Information : Sams Teach Yourself Facebook in 10 Minutes (2009)


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