Introduction Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with more than 900 million users. Facebook was launched in February 2004, owned and operated by Facebook, Inc. Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook in 2004 while he was attending Harvard University. As of September 2012, Facebook has over one billion active users, more than half of whom use Facebook on a mobile device.
Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates and fellow Harvard University students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. The websites membership was initially limited by the founders to Harvard students, but was expanded to other colleges in the Boston area. It gradually added support for students at various other universities before opening to high school students, and eventually to anyone aged 13 and over. According to a May 2011 Consumer Reports survey, there are 7.5 million children under 13 with accounts and 5 million under 10, violating the sites terms of service.
In May 2005, Accel partners invested $12.7 million in Facebook, and Jim Breyer added $1 million of his own money to the pot. A January 2009 Compete.com study ranked Facebook as the most used social networking service by worldwide monthly active users. According to Social Media Today, in April 2010 an estimated 41.6% (129.5 million) of the U.S. Mark Zuckerberg co-created Facebook in his Harvard dorm room.
HISTORY Mark Zuckerberg wrote Facemash, the predecessor to Facebook, on October 28, 2003, while attending Harvard. 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”. To accomplish this, Zuckerberg hacked into the protected areas of Harvards computer network and copied the houses private dormitory ID images. Facemash attracted 450 visitors and 22,000 photo-views in its first four hours online. The site was quickly forwarded to several campus, but was shut down a few days later by the Harvard administration. Zuckerberg faced expulsion and was charged by the administration with breach of security, violating copyrights, and violating individual privacy. Ultimately, the charges were dropped.
Six days after the site launched, three Harvard seniors, accused Zuckerberg of intentionally misleading them into believing he would help them build a social network called HarvardConnection.com, while he was instead using their ideas to build a competing product. The three complained to the Harvard Crimson, and the newspaper began an investigation. The three later filed a lawsuit against Zuckerberg, subsequently settling. The agreed settlement was for 1.2m shares which were worth $300m at Facebooks IPO.
Membership was initially restricted to students of Harvard College, and within the first month, more than half the undergraduate population at Harvard was registered on the service. Eduardo Saverin (business aspects), Dustin Moskovitz (programmer), Andrew McCollum (graphic artist), and Chris Hughes soon joined Zuckerberg to help promote the website. In March 2004, Facebook expanded to Stanford, Columbia, and Yale. It soon opened to the other Ivy League schools, Boston University, New York University, MIT, and gradually most universities in Canada and the United States.
Facebook launched a high-school version in September 2005, which Zuckerberg called the next logical step. At that time, high-school networks required an invitation to join. Facebook later expanded membership eligibility to employees of several companies, including Apple Inc. and Microsoft. Facebook was then opened on September 26, 2006, to everyone of age 13 and older with a valid email address. Late in 2007, Facebook had 100,000 business pages, allowing companies to attract potential customers and tell about themselves. These started as group pages, but a new concept called company pages was planned.
RECEPTION According to comScore, Facebook is the leading social networking site based on monthly unique visitors, having overtaken main competitor MySpace in April 2008. ComScore reports that Facebook attracted 130 million unique visitors in May 2010, an increase of 8.6 million people. In 2010, Sophoss "Security Threat Report 2010" polled over 500 firms, 60% of which responded that they believed that Facebook was the social network that posed the biggest threat to security, well ahead of MySpace, Twitter, and LinkedIn. In 2010, Facebook won the Crunchie "Best Overall Startup Or Product" for the third year in a row.
HOW DOES FACEBOOK MAKES MONEY FB has over 750 million active users and generates $2 billion in yearly revenue. They make the majority of their money through advertising. This is how FB makes money. FB has ads that appear on the right border of the screen. They gather information about you from your likes and your activity on the site. This information is used to make tailor-made advertisements for you when you visit the site. It generates enough traffic where it becomes a great platform for ads, and allows companies to have a successful advertising campaign. Even though the majority of people ignore ads, the ads being there still brings brand awareness and gets products known.
How Does Facebook Make Money aside from ads? The site does not make all of its money from ads. As of 2012, FB made 82% of their money in ads and 18% through other methods. They make a large portion of their money through online games. Most of these games are provided by Zynga. Games like Farmville, Empires & allies, and Mafia Wars, have millions of users. People pay real money for in-game items and money in the games. Whenever Zynga makes money like this, FB earns a percentage of the profits. A lot of visitors are drawn to the Zynga site and this is another source of money.
OTHER METHODS There is another feature of the site that deals with virtual gifts. This is another answer to how does facebook make money. These adds are virtual gifts that users can send to each other such as gift baskets, stuffed animals, and more. Most of the gifts are free, but there are some that cost real money. In addition to this, there are cash cards offered which can be used on games, gifts, and other virtual possessions. The cash cards come in $10, $25, and $50 cards.
USERS IN COUNTRIES In January 2013, the countries with the most Facebook users were: United States with 168.8 million members Brazil with 64.6 million members India with 62.6 million members Indonesia with 51.4 million members Mexico with 40.2 million members All of the above total 309 million members or about 38.6 percent of Facebooks 1 billion worldwide members.
CRITICISM Facebook has met with controversies. It has been blocked intermittently in several countries including the Peoples Republic of China, Iran, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Syria (unblocked in Syria), and Bangladesh on different bases. For example, it was banned in many countries of the world on the basis of allowed content judged as anti-Islamic and containing religious discrimination. It has also been banned at many workplaces to prevent employees from using it during work hours. The privacy of Facebook users has also been an issue, and the safety of user accounts has been compromised several times.
In November 2011, several Facebook users reported that their accounts were hacked and their profile pictures were replaced with pornographic images. For more than a week, users news feeds were spammed with pornographic, violent and sexual contents. It has been reported that more than 200,000 accounts in Bangalore, India were hacked. Facebook has denied the claims, citing that "safety of the users was on the top of their priority list".
In July 2011, German authorities began to discuss the prohibition of events organized on Facebook. The decision is based on several cases of overcrowding by people not originally invited. In one instance, 1,600 "guests" attended the 16th birthday party for a Hamburg girl who accidentally posted the invitation for the event as public. After reports of overcrowding, more than a hundred police were deployed for crowd control. A policeman was injured and eleven participants were arrested for assault, property damage and resistance to authorities. In another unexpectedly overcrowded event, 41 young people were arrested and at least 16 injured.
DISCONTENTMENT There is a rising number of Facebook users who are discontent with Facebook and finally decide to quit Facebook. The number one reason For users to quit Facebook was privacy concerns (48%), Being followed by a general dissatisfaction with Facebook (14%), Negative aspects regarding Facebook friends (13%) and The feeling of getting addicted to Facebook (6%). Facebook quitters were found to be more concerned about privacy, more addicted to the Internet and more conscientious.
MOST COMMON FACEBOOK CRIMES SCAMS Criminals have been utilizing the scam for centuries. In the Facebook world, scams are particularly effective at drawing people in by simply enticing an individual to click on a link that would interest almost anyone, such as an innocent-looking notification that you’ve won a free prize like a gift card. Then, in order to claim the prize, scammers require you to submit some information, such as a credit card number or Social Security number.
Cyberbullying Cyberbullying is a common occurrence among teenagers on Facebook and one that can result in serious criminal charges if it goes far enough. Cyberbullying on Facebook has contributed to the deaths of several teens who either committed suicide or were killed by a peer.
Robbery It doesn’t take much for a thief to find out where you live, go to school, work, or hang out if you make that information readily available on Facebook. If you use Facebook’s check-in or Google Maps feature, then you could be in a heap of trouble if a robber is paying attention.
Identity Theft With the large amount of personal information swarming around Facebook these days, it has become fairly easy for criminals to steal users’ identities. Hackers often break into users’ e-mails and make fake Facebook accounts. From there they can access personal and bank information and cause havoc to your sense of security.
Harassment Harassment happens all the time on Facebook. From sexual harassment to assault threats, there has been a significant increase in the number of harassment cases happening on Facebook. It’s not uncommon for sex offenders and sexual predators to prey on unsuspecting victims on Facebook and even pose as a teen or college student.
CRIMES Rape, Murder Nona Belomesoff was eighteen when she met Christopher Dannewig on Facebook. The twenty-year old claimed to be an animal rescue worker, and moreover, said his employers were hiring. After Belomesoff, a dedicated animal lover, expressed interest in a job, he told her that the first part of her training included an overnight camping trip. With him. In a secluded area. Though most of us would have alarm bells going off by this point, Belomesoff decided to go along with it. Tragically, but unsurprisingly, her body was found in a creek a few days later.
CRIMES The fifteen-year-old native Irish girl had recently moved to South Hadley, Massachusetts with her family. She began school in September of 2009, and at first, all seemed good: she was in a relationship with a senior on the football team, was making friends, and doing well in her classes. An evil group of teenage backstabbers used Facebook to bully Phoebe, sending her threatening messages and scrawling epithets like “Irish Slut” on her wall. The relentless harassment continued outside of cyber-space as well, with numerous incidents happening on and off school grounds. School officials, of course, did nothing.
Phoebe Prince committed suicide at home on January 14, 2010. Nine teens were arrested in connection to her death, on charges including statutory rape, civil rights violations, criminal harassment, stalking, and assault, and are awaiting trial. Other students have been expelled, Phoebe’s family has left the area, and the Massachusetts state legislature has passed a number of laws regarding bullying.
ADVANTAGES ->Allows user search for new and old friends. ->Accessible to chosen universities having a high level of security. ->Makes it less awkward when communicating with strangers. ->Love attraction - can be used as a dating service system. ->Makes it easier to join groups having similar likes and dislikes. ->Allows the people to publicize their business. Since in the world nothing is 100% efficient, it has some drawbacks too.
DISADVANTAGES ->Overcrowding. ->Weakening long distance relationship. ->Unsupported by physical adjacency. ->Contributes wide-range procrastination. ->Rampant addiction. ->Stalking is possible. ->Acquaintances be labeled as friends. ->May lead to disputes between couples due to over possessiveness.
Despite the above mentioned advantages and disadvantages of an online networking service, it still is gaining demand and popularity among the young crowd. People are loving to be there. There are about 10,000 students (professionals and young professionals not yet included) who are joining into Facebook every day. This is regardless of the age, race and country. Some are now trying to criticize the status of professionalism of this site whether its just another fad like other online networking services are.