The online social network Facebook was founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard University. Originally it was a student-only site that provided “hot or not” type interaction based on student photos originally called “Facemash”. The site as the world really knows it today launched on Feb. 4th as thefacebook.com. It was expanded in scope later to other colleges and eventually high schools, and went on to become the social giant that it is today.
The site and Zuckerberg has faced much controversy, including charges against Zuckerberg by Harvard for hacking and a lawsuit filed by three other students for allegedly misleading them about a similar project. The case was eventually settled for shares of Facebook stock. Sean Parker, co-founder of Napster, became president after advising Zuckerberg for a time and Facebook moved to Palo Alto, California. The site then became facebook.com after purchasing the domain for $200,000. Finally, in September of 2006 the site was made available to anyone over the age of 13.
Today, Facebook is the world’s largest social media app, reaching over 1.3 billion users in June, 2014. The company later went public in a popular IPO in Feburary, 2012. The company has also become innovators in data center and web application technology, building custom infrastructure to handle the massive load of users on systems.