Facebook lets you send messages and post status updates to keep in touch with friends and family. You can also share different types of content, such as photos and links. But sharing something on Facebook is a little different from other types of online communication. Unlike email or instant messaging, which is relatively private, the things you share on Facebook are more public, meaning they are usually seen by many others, and Facebook was originally designed for college students, in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg It was created while enrolling at Harvard University. Until 2006, anyone over the age of 13 with a valid email address could join Facebook. Today, Facebook is the world’s largest social network with more than 1 billion users worldwide.
Facebook, American online social network service that is part of the company Meta Platforms. Facebook was founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes, all of whom were students at Harvard University. Facebook became the largest social network in the world, with nearly three billion users as of 2021, and about half that number were using Facebook every day. The company’s headquarters are in Menlo Park, California.
Access to Facebook is free of charge, and the company earns most of its money from advertisements on the website. New users can create profiles, upload photos, join a preexisting group, and start new groups. The site has many components, including Timeline, a space on each user’s profile page where users can post their content and friends can post messages; Status, which enables users to alert friends to their current location or situation; and News Feed, which informs users of changes to their friends’ profiles and status. Users can chat with each other and send each other private messages. Users can signal their approval of content on Facebook with the Like button, a feature that also appears on many other websites. Other services that are part of Meta Platforms are Instagram, a photo- and video-sharing social network; Messenger, an instant-messaging application; and WhatsApp, a text-message and VoIP service.
The attractiveness of Facebook stems in part from cofounder Zuckerberg’s insistence from the very beginning that members be transparent about who they are; users are forbidden from adopting false identities. The company’s management argued that transparency is necessary for forming personal relationships, sharing ideas and information, and building up society as a whole. It also noted that the bottom-up, peer-to-peer connectivity among Facebook users makes it easier for businesses to connect their products with consumers.
The company has a complicated early history. It began at Harvard University in 2003 as Facemash, an online service for students to judge the attractiveness of their fellow students. Because the primary developer, Zuckerberg, violated university policy in acquiring resources for the service, it was shut down after two days. Despite its mayflylike existence, 450 people (who voted 22,000 times) flocked to Facemash. That success prompted Zuckerberg to register the URL http://www.thefacebook.com in January 2004. He then created a new social network at that address with fellow students Saverin, Moskovitz, and Hughes.
The social network TheFacebook.com launched in February 2004. Harvard students who signed up for the service could post photographs of themselves and personal information about their lives, such as their class schedules and clubs they belonged to. Its popularity increased, and soon students from other prestigious schools, such as Yale and Stanford universities, were allowed to join. By June 2004 more than 250,000 students from 34 schools had signed up, and that same year major corporations such as the credit card company MasterCard started paying for exposure on the site.
In September 2004 TheFacebook added the Wall to a member’s online profile. This widely used feature let a user’s friends post information on their Wall and became a key element in the social aspect of the network. By the end of 2004, TheFacebook had reached one million active users. However, the company still trailed the then-leading online social network, Myspace, which boasted five million members.
The year 2005 proved to be pivotal for the company. It became simply Facebook and introduced the idea of “tagging” people in photos that were posted to the site. With tags, people identified themselves and others in images that could be seen by other Facebook friends. Facebook allowed users to upload an unlimited number of photos. In 2005 high-school students and students at universities outside the United States were allowed to join the service. By year’s end it had six million monthly active users.
In 2006 Facebook opened its membership beyond students to anyone over the age of 13. As Zuckerberg had predicted, advertisers were able to create new and effective customer relationships. For example, that year, household product manufacturer Procter & Gamble attracted 14,000 people to a promotional effort by “expressing affinity” with a teeth-whitening product. This kind of direct consumer engagement on such a large scale had not been possible before Facebook, and more companies began using the social network for marketing and advertising.
Privacy remains an ongoing problem for Facebook. It first became a serious issue for the company in 2006, when it introduced News Feed, which consisted of every change that a user’s friends had made to their pages. After an outcry from users, Facebook swiftly implemented privacy controls in which users could control what content appeared in News Feed. In 2007 Facebook launched a short-lived service called Beacon that let members’ friends see what products they had purchased from participating companies. It failed because members felt that it encroached on their privacy. Indeed, a survey of consumers in 2010 put Facebook in the bottom 5 percent of companies in customer satisfaction largely because of privacy concerns, and the company continues to be criticized for the complexity of its user privacy controls and for the frequent changes it makes to them.
In 2008 Facebook surpassed Myspace as the most-visited social media website. With the introduction of Live Feed, the company also took a competitive swing at the growing popularity of Twitter, a social network that runs a live feed of news service-like posts from members whom a user follows. Similar to Twitter’s ongoing stream of user posts, Live Feed pushed posts from friends automatically to a member’s homepage. (Live Feed has since been incorporated into News Feed.)
Facebook has become a powerful tool for political movements, beginning with the U.S. presidential election of 2008, when more than 1,000 Facebook groups were formed in support of either Democratic candidate Barack Obama or Republican candidate John McCain. In Colombia the service was used to rally hundreds of thousands in protests against the antigovernment FARC guerrilla rebellion. In Egypt, activists protesting the government of Pres. Hosni Mubarak during the uprising of 2011 often organized themselves by forming groups on Facebook.
Facebook encourages third-party software developers to use the service. In 2006 it released its application programming interface (API) so that programmers could write software that Facebook members could use directly through the service. By 2009 developers generated about $500 million in revenue for themselves through Facebook. The company also earns revenues from developers through payments for virtual or digital products sold through third-party applications. By 2011 payments from one such company, Zynga Inc., an online game developer, accounted for 12 percent of the company’s revenues.
In February 2012 Facebook filed to become a public company. Its initial public offering (IPO) in May raised $16 billion, giving it a market value of $102.4 billion. By contrast, the largest IPO of an Internet company to date was that of the search-engine company Google Inc., which had raised $1.9 billion when it went public in 2004. By the end of the first day of the stock’s trading, Zuckerberg’s holdings were estimated at more than $19 billion.
In October 2021 Facebook announced that it was changing the name of its parent company to Meta Platforms. The name change reflected an emphasis on the “metaverse,” in which users would interact in virtual reality environments.
From there, Facebook spread across the world, becoming not only an incredibly valuable company but also one of the most important institutions of the early 21st century. The go-to social media site for a generation of internet users (and one which was readily adopted by older users as it transformed from exclusive to universal), Facebook was one of the major forces that brought the internet into the highly-participatory phase full of user-generated content sometimes referred to as “Web 2.0.” It has also remained controversial. In addition to allowing misinformation and fake accounts to proliferate, Facebook has drawn criticism both for selling its users’ data and for failing to adequately protect it. Nonetheless, Facebook continues to dominate the social media market, generating by far the most ad revenue and maintaining over half of the total market share..
Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of Facebook:
➨A person can get addicted to Facebook in no time.
➨Some people can create fake accounts which results into harassment and abuse.
➨Hackers are now using facebook who send scams which can retrieve all your personal data.
➨You can not hide your personal details as it is viewed by all the people even if he/she is not your relative.
➨Some people create groups in order to abuse people or personalities considering their relgion or Caste.
➨Addiction by childrens lead to poor academic results.
Following are the benefits or advantages of Facebook:
➨You can connect to the world and get all the information by just signing up on it.
➨You can find and invite your friends to connect.
➨You can share each and every moment of your personal life with all your contacts.
➨It provides an interface where you can chat with all the people you know.
➨Business promotion is one of the biggest advantages of facebook. You can advertise your business on fan pages and through Advertisements.
➨You can entertain yourself on Facebook as it provides games to play with friends and family members.
➨The best part of Facebook is that it is free of cost and that you don’t need to pay for the services available to you. The exception is paid advertisement and paid promotion.
➨You can create one or many groups pertaining to particular topic and invite your contacts to be member of the same. This allows other facebook users to also join the group. This provides platform for the like minded people to discuss and share their views. The group members can post queries and also provide answer to queries of the others.
➨It has messenger utility which can be installed on the mobile phones to have quick access compare to web page.
Meta Inc. (META), the company which owns Facebook, the world’s largest social networking website, was founded by CEO Mark Zuckerberg and several Harvard College roommates in 2004. The company’s name initially was FaceMash, which was changed to TheFacebook, eventually dropping “The” from its name to become Facebook, before being changed yet again to Meta in Oct. 2021.1 Zuckerberg and his co-founders initially launched the service for their Harvard classmates, quickly expanding it to other universities and then to the general public. The company since then has grown into a global giant with 2.8 billion users and a market cap of $926.8 billion. The company reported FY 2020 net income of $29.1 billion on $84.1 billion in revenue, nearly all of which came from advertising.
Meta has expanded far beyond its original social networking platform since its founding 16 years ago. Its products also include messenger services, photo and video sharing, augmented reality, and many other apps and services. Acquisitions have been key to growing these businesses and Meta’s revenue in general. Meta’s strategy has been to buy potential rivals before they can get too big. In the process, the company sometimes has paid exceptionally high prices for some deals. The company has also drawn attention from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) due to potential anticompetitive practices, with the FTC recently demanding data on unreported purchases from Meta as well as other big tech companies.
Below, we look in more detail at Meta’s 5 biggest acquisitions. The company does not provide a breakdown of how much profit or revenue each acquisition currently contributes to Meta.
Type of Business: Photo and video-sharing app
Acquisition Cost: $1.0 billion
Acquisition Date: April 9, 2012
Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social networking platform that was launched in 2010. Through the Instagram app, users can upload, edit, and tag photos and videos. The company remained independent up until it was acquired by Meta for $1.0 billion in 2012. While Meta bought Instagram as the photo-sharing company was garnering significant attention from venture capital firms and other investors.6 Some estimates indicate that Instagram generates more advertising revenue than its parent company.
When it acquired Instagram, Meta opted to build and grow the Instagram app independently from Meta’s main Facebook platform; Instagram remains a separate platform to this day.5 The price that Meta paid for Instagram, which at that time was generating no revenue, reflects Meta’s willingness to pay a premium for young companies.
Type of Business: Mobile messenger service
Acquisition Cost: $19.0 billion
Acquisition Date: February 19, 2014
WhatsApp is a messenger and calling service available to users throughout the world. The platform was launched in 2009 as a low-cost alternative to standard text messaging services. Throughout much of its history, WhatsApp has allowed users to send messages and make calls directly to other users for no cost, regardless of location. Users can also send photos, videos, and documents over the platform. Meta bought WhatsApp at a time when the smaller company boasted more than 400 million active monthly users, making it a fast-growing potential rival to the Facebook network platform.
When Meta purchased WhatsApp, it was an independent company that had recently been valued at $1.5 billion. Although it is unclear exactly how much revenue WhatsApp generates, some estimates are that WhatsApp revenue will be as high as $5 billion by 2020.
Type of Business: Virtual reality technology company
Acquisition Cost: $2.0 billion
Acquisition Date: March 25, 2014
Just weeks after announcing its acquisition of WhatsApp, Meta followed up by buying virtual reality hardware and software company Oculus VR. This company was founded in 2012 and is best known for its Oculus Rift product, a virtual reality headset that was designed for video gaming. Since Facebook’s purchase of Oculus VR in 2014, the subsidiary has made multiple acquisitions of its own. Perhaps the most prominent was the 2015 purchase of Surreal Vision, a company specializing in 3D scene mapping reconstruction.10
At the time that Meta acquired Oculus VR, the company had only produced a development prototype of what would become its popular headset product. Meta’s purchase of Oculus VR gave it an instant presence in the virtual reality market at a time when developers were showing growing interest in VR.
Founded in 2010, Israeli company Onavo performs web analytics on other mobile apps to determine customer usage. Meta acquired Onavo in October 2013 for an undisclosed amount that some analysts estimated to be between $100 million and $200 million.11 At the time of the acquisition, Onavo was an independent company. Although Onavo is not one of Meta’s largest acquisitions, Onavo’s technology may have allowed Meta to make crucial early determinations about other companies and apps to acquire. Onavo has occasionally been classified as spyware, forcing Meta to pull Onavo from both the iOS and Android app stores in the face of criticism.
Messaging app service Beluga, founded in 2010, was acquired by Meta a year later. Meta bought Beluga in the midst of the startup’s fundraising process for an undisclosed sum. In buying Beluga, Facebook acquired the technology that eventually became the social media company’s highly successful Messenger platform. In the process, Meta again expanded its offerings and eliminated a potential rival.
• Facebook is social networking website similar to twitter, Linkedin etc. It can be used as application or web page.
• It allows people to communicate, share documents/photos/multimedia files, make friends and so on.
• Facebook messanger is an instant messanging service/application which can be downloaded and installed on mobile and desktop devices. It allows text and video chat service for free.
• There are various features of facebook. News Feed has been recently added which highlights information such as profile changes, events, birthdays and so on.
• It allows to create specific groups in which like minded people can join and discuss or share their views or works.
• Facebook can also be used for marketing purpose by posting advertisements.
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