Facebook is a for-profit corporation and online social media and social networking service based in Menlo Park, California, United States.
A social networking service is an online platform which people use to build social networks or social relations with other people who share similar personal or career interests, activities, backgrounds or real-life connections.
Social media are computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.
Menlo Park is a city at the eastern edge of San Mateo County, in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, in the United States.
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The Facebook website was launched on February 4, 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg, along with fellow Harvard College students and roommates, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes.
Chris Hughes is an American entrepreneur who co-founded and served as spokesman for the online social directory and networking site Facebook, with Harvard roommates Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo Saverin, and Andrew McCollum.
Dustin Aaron Moskovitz is an Internet entrepreneur who co-founded Facebook with Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum and Chris Hughes.
Eduardo Luiz Saverin is a Brazilian Internet entrepreneur, economist and angel investor.
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The founders had initially limited the website's membership to Harvard students; however, later they expanded it to higher education institutions in the Boston area, the Ivy League schools, and Stanford University.
Stanford University, officially Leland Stanford Junior University, is a private research university in Stanford, California, adjacent to Palo Alto and between San Jose and San Francisco.
The Ivy League is a collegiate athletic conference comprising sports teams from eight private institutions of higher education in the Northeastern United States.
Facebook gradually added support for students at various other universities, and eventually to high school students as well.
Since 2006, anyone age 13 and older has been allowed to become a registered user of Facebook, though variations exist in the minimum age requirement, depending on applicable local laws.
The Facebook name comes from the face book directories often given to United States university students.
A face book or facebook is a printed or web directory found at some American universities consisting of individuals’ photographs and names.
Facebook can be accessed by a large range of desktops, laptops, tablet computers,and smartphones over the Internet and mobile networks.
A laptop, often called a notebook or "notebook computer", is a small, portable personal computer with a "clamshell" form factor, an alphanumeric keyboard on the lower part of the "clamshell" and a thin LCD or LED computer screen on the upper portion, which is opened up to use the computer.
A tablet computer, commonly shortened to tablet, is a mobile PC, typically with a mobile operating system and LCD touchscreen display processing circuitry, and a rechargeable battery in a single thin, flat package.
A smartphone is a mobile phone with an advanced mobile operating system that combines features of a personal computer operating system with other features useful for mobile or handheld use.
After registering to use the site, users can create a user profile indicating their name, occupation, schools attended and so on.
A user profile is a visual display of personal data associated with a specific user, or a customized desktop environment.
Users can add other users as "friends", exchange messages, post status updates and digital photos, share digital videos and links, use various software applications, and receive notifications when others update their profiles or make posts.
Digital photography is a form of photography that uses cameras containing arrays of electronic photodetectors to capture images focused by a lens, as opposed to an exposure on photographic film.
An application program is a computer program designed to perform a group of coordinated functions, tasks, or activities for the benefit of the user.
Additionally, users may join common-interest user groups organized by workplace, school, hobbies or other topics, and categorize their friends into lists such as "People From Work" or "Close Friends".
In groups, editors can pin posts to top.
Additionally, users can complain about or block unpleasant people.
Because of the large volume of data that users submit to the service, Facebook has come under scrutiny for its privacy policies.
Privacy is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves, or information about themselves, and thereby express themselves selectively.
Facebook makes most of its revenue from advertisements which appear onscreen.
Facebook, Inc. held its initial public offering in February 2012, and began selling stock to the public three months later, reaching an original peak market capitalization of $104 billion.
Initial public offering or stock market launch is a type of public offering in which shares of a company usually are sold to institutional investors that in turn, sell to the general public, on a securities exchange, for the first time.
Market capitalization is the market value at a point in time of the shares outstanding of a publicly traded company, being equal to the share price at that point of time times the number of shares outstanding.
On July 13, 2015, Facebook became the fastest company in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index to reach a market cap of $250 billion.
Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC is an American financial services company.
Facebook has more than 1.65 billion monthly active users as of March 31, 2016.
Monthly Active Users is one of the ways to measure the success rate of online social games, social networking services and, increasingly mobile apps.
As of April 2016, Facebook was the most popular social networking site in the world, based on the number of active user accounts.