Facebook is a social networking service and Web site.
As of July 2011, Facebook has more than 800 million active users.
Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as friends, and exchange messages, including automatic notifications when they update their profile.
Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates and fellow computer science students Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes.
Mark Zuckerberg wrote Facemash, the predecessor to Facebook, on October 28, 2003, while attending Harvard as a sophomore. According to The Harvard Crimson, the site was comparable to Hot or Not, and "used photos compiled from the online facebooks of nine houses, placing two next to each other at a time and asking users to choose the 'hotter' person".
Facebook incorporated in the summer of 2004, and the entrepreneur Sean Parker, who had been informally advising Zuckerberg, became the company's president. In June 2004, Facebook moved its base of operations to Palo Alto, California. It received its first investment later that month from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. The company dropped The from its name after purchasing the domain name facebook.com in 2005 for $200,000.
Facebook launched a high-school version in September 2005.
Facebook later expanded membership eligibility to employees of several companies, including Apple Inc. and Microsoft.
The ownership percentages of the company are[when?] as follows. Mark Zuckerberg: 24%, Accel Partners: 10%, Digital Sky Technologies: 10%, Dustin Moskovitz: 6%, Eduardo Saverin: 5%, Sean Parker: 4%, Peter Thiel: 3%, Greylock Partners and Meritech Capital Partners: between 1 to 2% each, Microsoft: 1.3%, Li Ka-shing: 0.75%, the Interpublic Group: less than 0.5%.