Did you know when Facebook was launched in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg; it was open for registrations to the students of Harvard only? Well, yes! That was the whole idea of creating Facebook. It was designed to offer a platform to the students of Harvard to connect to each other and was later expanded to other colleges in the Boston area.
Facebook was not created with the motive of making it a billion dollars company, it was designed with a small purpose of connecting students, and anyone with a .edu email id could sign up on Facebook. Also, Facebook was not always called with this name, it had its predecessors, and the creator of the social media giant never imagined it to become a company so big.
So, here is everything to know about Facebook’s history, Facebook’s owner, and how it became the world’s most popular social networking site.
Mark Zuckerberg’s Love for Coding-
Mark Elliot Zuckerberg was born to Edward Zuckerberg, a dentist, and mother, Karen Zuckerberg, a psychiatrist on May 14, 1984. Mark developed his love for coding in the elementary school and got his first computer when he was ten years old.
His father taught him the Atari Basic programming language, with the help of which he created a messenger called ‘Zucknet,’ at the age of 12. The messenger worked, and so did the other communication tools and games that Mark created. Soon after, Edward, Mark’s father hired a tutor for Mark’s private computer lessons.
While at high-school, Mark wrote a code for a media player called Synapse. This media player carefully studied the preferences of the user and created a playlist according to their tastes. Synapse was great software, and IT giants like Microsoft and AOL showed their interests in acquiring it. However, Mark turned down any such offer.
The next step in his education was to join the Academy of Phillips Exeter, a preparatory school. Mark showed good performance in literature and science, and also became the captain of the school’s fencing team.
Mark graduated from Phillips Exeter in 2002 and joined Harvard University. He soon gained the popularity of a software developer on the campus. In his second year, for an exam he wasn’t prepared for, he created a programme called ‘CourseMatch,’ which helped students in the same class and college to connect, share notes, and other stuff.
Then came the ‘FaceMash.’
‘FaceMash’ was a Hot or Not site. Mark came up with the idea of creating this website amidst his fail attempts to fall asleep, in his dorm room. For this website, Mark wrote code and hacked the Harvard database to get his hands on the profile pictures uploaded by the students. The programme randomly selected two photos, put them side by side, with the question “Who is hotter?”
The website was an instant, around 450 people visited the site within a span of few days and voted more than 22,000 times. However, because Mark had breached the privacy code at Harvard and hacked their systems, he had to face disciplinary action and website was soon shut down.
All this programming buzz that Mark created in a short span made his quite famous. He was then approached by Divya Narendra and twins Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss to programme a website called Harvard Connection. Harvard Connection was supposed to be a social media website, only for the Harvard students, where they could connect with fellow students, upload pictures and personal information.
Mark noticed that people could search for music, books, news, information, etc. on the internet, but there was no way to connect with people. This, to him, seemed like a big gap that needed something to fill it up, and thus the idea of Facebook popped up.
While working on Harvard Connection, Mark was also simultaneously working on his idea of a social media networking site, which he named TheFacebook.com.
On February 04, 2004, Mark, along with his partner, Eduardo Saverin got the name of the website registered and launched it for Harvard students from his dorm room in Harvard.
When the site was launched, Mark and Eduardo never expected it to become this big, and instead always thought that someone, someday, would make a similar website like this for the rest of the world.
After a few months since the launch of the website, Mark approached his friends and expanded the network of The Facebook to other universities and colleges like Yale, Stanford, and Columbia University. Any student with ‘.edu’ the email address could register, which would validate them as from the education sector.
Soon after, Facebook became famous throughout USA and went beyond the education sector. And for an expansion at this scale, Mark needed new investors. The first person to invest $500,000 in Facebook was Peter Theil, one of the founders of PayPal.
Facebook was now available for all the Universities, schools and colleges throughout the USA. And, Mark still believed that Facebook was of utmost importance to students.
TheFacebook.com to Facebook transition!
TheFacebook.com now became Facebook.com and was made public. The popularity and registrations grew at a phenomenal rate, and the thing that most attracted people was that they could communicate with friends online, which was very new.
Although the website gained popularity, the income source was still not clear. Advertisements were the most obvious and simplest way out. Users entered their personal information and advertisers could use that to show relevant content.
Facebook’s growing popularity gained the interests of big companies, and once Yahoo offered it a sum of $900. The amount was significant, but the Father of Facebook had other plans.
By the end of 2007, Businesses had started making use of Facebook to attract potential customers, and there were around 100,000 business pages set up already.
In March 2008, Facebook hired its new Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg. A lot of changes were made to the advertising model of Facebook, to increase the revenues, and soon turned out to be the primary source of income for the company.
Acquisitions by Facebook
In 2009, Facebook made its first acquisition by acquiring FriendFeed, a start=up company created by one of the engineers of Gmail.
In February 2010, Facebook acquired Octazen Solutions, a Malaysian start-up company.
The same year in April, Facebook also acquired Divvyshot, the photo-sharing service for an undisclosed amount.
Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 Billion in cash and stock on 12th April 2012.
The biggest acquisition made by Facebook or any other company was acquiring WhatsApp Inc, for $19 billion, for cash and stock, in February 2014.
Lawsuits Imposed on Facebook
Six days after Mark started Facebook, a lawsuit was filed against him by his seniors, Divya Narendra, and Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. They complained to the Crimson that Mark stole their idea of the social networking site, and mislead them into believing that he was trying to help them build the site. These lawsuits were filed a number of times by the same trio, in an attempt to defame Mark, but they later settled on an agreement.
Yahoo also sued Facebook in March 2012, and the reason was an infringement of Yahoo’s patents pertaining to social networking, advertising, privacy controls, etc. Later, in July 2012, the suit was settled with a peace treaty.
The other lawsuits faced by Facebook included the Saverin lawsuit, Pakistan criminal investigation, Paul Ceglia’s suit, Palestinian terror attacks, Hawaiian land ownership, and Testimony before U.S. Congress.
Facebook- At the heights of its success
As of June 2017, Facebook has more than 2.23 billion active users and has become of the biggest tech company of Silicon Valley with over 30,000 employees.
GOBankingRates’ Evaluation of Facebook’s Net Worth as of September 2018 is marked at $138.3B, despite a 3% fall in its share price in September. And, Mark Zuckerberg was valued at $20 billion as of July 2018, is the fifth richest man in the world currently. He is the youngest of the world’s top billionaires, at the age of 33.
Mark Zuckerberg’s Personal Life
The founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg met his current wife, Priscilla Chan while he was studying at Harvard University. After dating for a few years, Dr. Priscilla and Mark got married on May 19, 2012, in Palo Alto, California.
They currently live in a mansion in Palo Alto, whose worth is approximately $7 million.
Mark and Priscilla have two daughters, Maxima Chan Zuckerberg, and August Chan Zuckerberg.
Famous and Inspiring Quotes by Mark Zuckerberg
- “Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough.”
- “The biggest risk is not taking any risk.”
- “I think a simple rule of business is, if you do the things that are easier first, then you can actually make a lot of progress.”
- “So many businesses get worried about looking like they might make a mistake, they become afraid to take any risk. Companies are set up so that people judge each other on failure.”
- “Simply put: we don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services.”
- “I’m here to build something for the long-term. Anything else is a distraction.”
- “Building a mission and building a business go hand-in-hand.”
- “Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life.”
- “Advertising works most effectively when it’s in line with what people are already trying to do.”
Billionaire Richard Branson says that the key to finding a new business idea is by noticing how you could improve something in your life. And that is the primary thing Mark noticed and invented Facebook.
He never thought of making it big, he only had an idea, and executed it. But, when the success hit, he was more than ready to grab the opportunity and make it big. Failure in life was something he never feared, and every challenge he ever faced only made him and his decisions stronger.
Failure stories tell us how to move past obstacles and not to lose hope after failing, but success stories like these are to reassure that not everyone faces failure in life.