When Was Facebook Founded and How Did It Grow so Quickly? | History Hit

When Was Facebook Founded and How Did It Grow so Quickly?

History Hit

04 Dec 2018
Mark Zuckerberg in 2018
Image Credit: Anthony Quintano from Honolulu, HI, United States, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

On 4 February 2004 Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg launched thefacebook.com.

This wasn’t Zuckerberg’s first attempt at creating a social networking site. His previous efforts included Facemash, a site that allowed students to rate one another’s appearance. To create Facemash, Zuckerberg hacked into Harvard’s “facebooks,” containing images of students to help them identify each other.

The website was a hit but Harvard shut it down and threatened to expel Zuckerberg for violating student privacy and breaching their security.

Take two

Zuckerberg’s next project, theFacebook, built on his experience with Facemash. His plan was to create a website that linked everyone at Harvard together. Within twenty-four hours of launching the site, theFacebook had between twelve hundred and fifteen hundred registered users.

Mark Zuckerberg speaks during the TechCrunch Conference in 2012. Image credit: Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Within a month, half of the undergraduate population of Harvard were registered. Zuckerberg expanded his team to include fellow Harvard students Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, Andrew McCollum and Chris Hughes.

Over the next year, the site expanded to other Ivy League universities and then to all universities across the United States and Canada. In August 2005 the site changed to Facebook.com when the address was bought for $200,000. In September 2006, having spread to colleges and schools across the globe, Facebook was opened to everyone with a registered email address.

The fight for Facebook

But it wasn’t all plain sailing. Just one week after launching theFacebook, Zuckerberg became embroiled in a long-running legal dispute. Three seniors at Harvard – Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra – claimed Zuckerberg agreed to create a social networking site for them called HarvardConnection.

Facebook was founded on the 4th of February 2004 and began as a tool to stay in touch with friends and family, but has ended up being a place where you can plan insurrectionist movements and anti-vax rallies.
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They alleged instead that Zuckerberg had stolen their idea and used it to create his own site. However, in 2007 a judge ruled that their case was too flimsy and that idle chat between students did not constitute a binding agreement. The two sides agreed to a settlement.

According to records for September 2016, Facebook has 1.18 billion daily active users.

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