Facebook is one of the most popular social media sites. Most of us have seen the movie Social Networking and are very familiar with the origins of Facebook but we all do not know all the facts that lead to the creation of Facebook. Since we all spend more time using Facebook than the time we spend on eating it becomes very important to know all the details about it. We should know how Facebook became Facebook, what Mark Zuckerberg did to keep Facebook alive and on the top of social media chain and what is Facebook planning for its future and the future of its users.
To understand something it becomes easy if we start with the roots, so we have to understand the origins of Facebook. Since we have a long journey to cover ahead let's not waste time and get straight to business.
Back in 2003 Mark Zuckerberg wrote a programme to develop a software for Harvard students and called it Facemash. Facemash was designed to compare pictures of two people and let users vote for one of them. All Facemash did was to let the user decide who they find more attractive out of two pictures. Harvard administration found Facemash as a breach of individuals privacy and also charged Mark Zuckerberg with security breach and copyrights violation. Mark Zuckerberg was still in his second year of college. The charges were dropped later and Mark Zuckerberg went on to create another social study too project for art history studies. Facemash was auctioned off on October 25th, 2010 for $30,201 by a Rahul Jain.
In 2004 everyone in Harvard was interested in Universal Facebook which contained some photos and basic information about students. At that point, Facebook was not a software but was more on paper sheets. When Mark Zuckerberg heard about it he spoke to The Harvard Crimson about how silly it is for the University to project the software development cycle for 2 years and he claimed to get it done within a week. Facebook was not an idea he came up with but he was the first one to bring it to the online platform.
In January 2004 Mark Zuckerberg started writing code for The Facebook, he launched it on the 4th of February 2004. It was available at thefacebook.com. Mark wanted to connect more people to the Facebook and as soon as he launched Facebook he told his friends. One of his friends advised getting Facebook on Kirkland house mailing list online. This mailing list consisted of around 300 people. This lead to an immediate boost of users for Facebook and it had around 1500 registered users within 24 hours. All this happened with joint efforts of Dustin Aaron Moskovitz Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum and Chris Hughes. Sean Parker also played an important role by being an adviser to the team Facebook.
Within 6 days of Facebook launch Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra, Harvard Seniors, accused Mark of building a competing product by using the idea that they came up with. The also accused him of fraud as Mark made them believe that he will help them build HarvardConnection.com, which would have worked similar to Facebook. The Crimson started investigating the case and Mark tried to find a way out of it by trying to hack the official emails of the Crimson members and was able to hack into accounts of two officials. Mark also faced a lawsuit from three Crimson members for breaching their online security, which was also settled later. None of this could stop the popularity of Facebook. Almost half of the university undergraduates registered on it within a month after its launch. Gradually Facebook expanded to other colleges and universities in United States of America and Cannada. Sean Parker became the first president of the Facebook after its incorporation in 2004 and also moved its base to Palo Alto. In 2005 'The' was dropped from the company name and facebook.com came into existence at the cost of $200,000 for the domain name.
By the end of 2005, Facebook was successful to have around 6 million users. Facebook kept growing to many universities of England, Ireland, Mexico, New Zeland, Australia, Cannada and United States of America. The "next logic step" as called by Mark Zuckerberg was the high school version of Facebook, which required an invitation to join. Looking at the growth of Facebook the company decided to expand its user base to companies like Apple and Microsoft. Facebook finally opened up to the rest of the world on September 26, 2006, for all above 13 years of age and with a valid email address. Facebook started marketing for various companies on its business pages in 2007. Facebook made Dublin as its international headquarters in 2008. The user base of Facebook increased to around 350 million by the end of 2011. I was one of them.
Facebook was initially registered as LLC in Florida. Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin paid for the website operation expenses and shared equity. Then started the process of getting funds which happened in three series known as A, B, and C. Sean Parker was the president and tried to attract Reid Hoffman the C.E.O. of Linked In. Hoffman referred to Peter Thiel. Mark and Sean contacted Thiel and explained their plan. Thiel agreed and invested $500,000 in Facebook to become a member of the board with 10.2% of the company. Thiel's investment took place in summer of 2004.
Series A of the investment began in April of 2005 when a capital investment of $12.7 million was made by Accel Partners. This deal was concealed with Facebook evaluated at $98 million. After the deal, Facebook's board of members have 5 seats now and Mark Zuckerberg has the right to nominate two people for the left seats as rest two are owned by Thiel and Breyer.
The second series, known as the B series, started in April 2006 which ended with an investment of $27.5 million with various investors. The major investments from Greylock Partners and Meritech Capital. Accel Partners and Peter Thiel added more to their previous investments. The final valuation for series B was around $500 million.
This was just the beginning of the series of investment coming Facebook's way and also there was a time when Mark almost sold Facebook. To know further what shaped Facebook to what it is today check out Genghis Khan of Social Media and in case you have any query please leave a comment in the comment section.
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