Facebook is the largest social networking site in the world and one of the most widely used. People use Facebook to connect with friends and colleagues, share news, information, photos, video, and more with people and organizations. It was co-created by Mark Zuckerberg and officially launched on February 4, 2004.

Quick Facts


  • Ranked #3rd worldwide
  • Active users 2.7 b
  • Type Social networks
  • Launched date Feb 4, 2004
  • Employees 52,534
  • Headquarters 1 Hacker Way, Menlo Park, California, U.S.
  • Parent company None


Mark Zuckerberg New York
Eduardo Saverin
Andrew McCollum
Dustin Moskovitz
Chris Hughes


  • Brand value In 2020 $86 b
  • Revenue in 2020 $81.48 b
  • Net loss In 2020 $20.89 b

Data Graphs

personvia Statista.com

Current Controversies

Current ControversiesMark Zuckerberg in 2018 following the privacy scandal. (via theguardian.com)

Facebook has been the subject of numerous controversies, often involving user privacy (as with the Cambridge Analytica data scandal), political manipulation (as with the 2016 U.S. elections), mass surveillance, psychological effects such as addiction and low self-esteem, and content such as fake news, conspiracy theories, copyright infringement, and hate speech.

Commentators have accused Facebook of willingly facilitating the spread of such content and also exaggerating its number of users in order to appeal to advertisers.

Internet Censorship

Internet CensorshipThe Great Firewall of China. (via newbloommag.net)

In Jul 2009, in the wake of deadly riots in western China when the platform was used for communication among protesters, Facebook denied giving the information of the activists.

The 'Great Firewall' in China prevents internet users from viewing or posting socially or politically sensitive content.

In 2018, Facebook attempted to set up a $30M subsidiary in Hangzhou to incubate start-ups and give advice to local businesses. Permission to run the start-up was quickly withdrawn.

In addition to being banned in China, Facebook is also blocked in North Korea and Iran.


MovieThe Social Network is also strangely timeless. (via wired.com)

The Social Network is a 2010 American biographical drama film directed by David Fincher and written by Aaron Sorkin. Adapted from Ben Mezrich's 2009 book The Accidental Billionaires, it portrays the founding of the social networking website Facebook and the resulting lawsuits.

The film grossed $224M on a $40M budget.

The Social Network received nominations for eight Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

It also received awards for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Original Score at the 68th Golden Globe Awards.

Original Idea

original ideaoriginal idea

FaceMash, Facebook's predecessor, opened in 2003, developed by Mark Zuckerberg; he wrote the software for the Facemash website when he was in his second year of college. The website was set up as a type of "hot or not" game for Harvard students.

The website allowed visitors to compare two female student pictures side by side and let them decide who was more attractive.

Chris Hughes, says when his roommate Mark Zuckerberg came up with the idea, it was to be “a directory of information for college students”.

Just six days after the launch of the site, three Harvard University seniors accused Zuckerberg of intentionally misleading them into believing that he would help them build a social network called HarvardConnection.com but instead using their idea to build a competing product.

On Dec 11, 2005, universities in Australia and New Zealand were added to the Facebook network, bringing its size to 2.000+ colleges and 25.000+ high schools throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland.

Brief History

Oct Mark Zuckerberg released Facemash, the predecessor to Facebook.
Feb Facebook as a Harvard-only social network.
Mar Facebook expanded to Columbia, Stanford and Yale.
Apr Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, and Eduardo Saverin from Thefacebook.com LLC, a partnership.
Jun Received its first investment from Peter Thiel for US$500,000.
Aug Launches Wirehog.
Sep Introducing the Wall.

ConnectU sued Zuckerberg and other Facebook founders.

Dec 1M user.
Mar Expanded to UK universities ​Cambridge, Oxford, and the University of the West of England.
May Accel Partners invested $13M.
Aug Acquires "Facebook.com" domain for $200,000.
Sep Launched a high school version.
Oct Introducing Facebook Photos.
Dec Introduced the ability to Tag friends in photos.
Apr Expand its membership base into the corporate sector.
Aug Launched Facebook Notes, blogging.
Sep Launched News Feed, Opens for everyone over 13.

Discusses with Yahoo acquiring for $1B.

Jan Launched m.facebook.com; Mobile uploads; and Redesign of My Privacy page.
May Facebook Platform was launched.

The first F8 was held at the San Francisco Design Center.

The notion of the social graph was introduced.

Jun Facebook Video launched (tagging, FB video player, video messaging, mobile integration).
Jul 30M users.
Oct Microsoft invested $240M.
Nov Facebook Pages for Businesses was launched.

Launched Facebook Beacon with 44 partner sites at the time of launch.

Dec Friend Lists launched.
Feb Introduced the Translations App.
May Adam D'Angelo, Chief Technology Officer (CTO), left Facebook.

The first F8 was held at the San Francisco Design Center.

The notion of the social graph was introduced.

Apr Launched Facebook Chat.
Jun Facebook paid $65M to ConnectU to settle the suit.
Jul New tabbed profile design (wall, info, photos, boxes).

The 2008 F8 was held at the San Francisco Design Center.

Aug 100M users.
Oct International headquarters in Dublin, Ireland.
Nov Launched Facebook Credits to help users purchase Facebook gifts.
Feb Activated the Like button.
Aug Acquired FriendFeed, a startup created by Gmail's first engineer Paul Buchheit.
Sep 300M users.

Tag Friends in Status Updates, shut down Beacon.

Dec Amber Alerts partnered with Facebook.
Feb Bought Malaysia's Octazen Solutions.
Apr The 2010 F8 was held at the San Francisco Design Center.

Bought photo service Divvyshot.

Introduced Community Pages.

Jun Added the ability to Like a Comment.

Tag Friends in Status Updates, shut down Beacon.

Jul 500M users.

Facebook Stories Launched.

Oct "The Social Network" movie directed by David Fincher.
Dec Face Recognition Photo Tagging.

Profile Redesign (biographic information, photos, education, work experience, and important relationships).

Jan Goldman Sachs and an unnamed Russian investor invested $500M.
Jul Partners with Skype ​to add video chat.
Aug Facebook Messenger launched.

Improvements to Games including Games Ticker.

Sep Top Stories on News Feed.

The 2011 F8 was held at the San Francisco Design Center.

Oct Facebook for iPad.
Dec Add Facebook Timeline addition.
Jan Show Sponsored Ads in News Feed.
Apr Acquired Instagram for $1B.
May Facebook's IPO launched at $38.
Jun Launched Facebook Exchange (FBX), a real-time bidding ad system.

Acquired Israeli facial recognition technology Face.com, for $55-60M.

Oct 1B users.
Jan Introduced Graph Search.
Mar Announced a new look for News Feed.

Acquired Storylane team.

Apr Launched Facebook Home.

A new timeline with Video Autoplay.

Launched Stickers, for its iOS apps.

Partnered with HTC on a “Facebook phone”.

Jun Introduced Hashtags (#).

Zuckerberg joined The Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Celebration in San Francisco, U.S.

Jul More than 100M people use Facebook For Every Phone each month.
Aug Launched Internet.org.
Sep Facebook finally let you Edit Posts.
Oct Acquired Onavo, for approximately $120M.
Dec Facebook, Zuckerberg, & banks face IPO lawsuits.
Jan Announced Facebook Paper.
Feb Facebook 10th anniversary: Look Back feature.

WhatsApp deal, for $19B.

Mar Face Recognition Systems: Facebook DeepFace announced with 97.25 percent accuracy.
Apr Announced FB Newswire.

The 2014 F8 was held at the San Francisco Design Center.

Jun Released Facebook Slingshot; launched Save.
Oct Launched pseudonymous app Rooms.

Created A custom Tor link.

Dec Introduced Facebook Graph Search.
Jan Acquired Wit.ai, a Y Combinator startup.

Acquired QuickFire Networks, a video processing, and transcoding company.

The Torch library was opened.

Mar Introduced friend-to-friend payments in the Messenger app.

The 2015 F8 was held at the Fort Mason Center.

Released React Native for Android.

May "Instant Articles" for Publishers.
Jun GIF support in News Feed.
Aug Launched live-streaming.

1B users in a single day.

Oct Facebook Slows the Internet for Staffers on '2G Tuesdays'.

Created A custom Tor link.

Dec Add Uber Booking Feature in Messaging app.
Feb Facebook Reactions were launched. The new reactions are "Love", "Haha", "Wow", "Sad", and "Angry".
Apr The 2016 F8 was held at the San Francisco Design Center.

Facebook Live was released.

May Announced changes to Trending Topics section.

Facebook Exchange (FBX) shut down.

Jun Introduced the secret Messenger soccer game.
Oct Facebook Marketplace launched in the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand.
Nov The Instant Games platform on Messenger and Facebook News Feed.
Dec Share Moments at the top of the News Feed.
Jan The Facebook Journalism Project.

The Messenger interface into the messages inbox.

Feb Community Help feature to the Safety Check Crisis response tool.

Job Search Feature.

Mar Facebook Fundraising and Facebook Stories were launched.
Apr Messenger Lite in over 100 additional countries.

The 2017 F8 was held at the San Jose Convention Center.

Jun 2B monthly users.
Sep Donald Trump calls Facebook "anti-Trump".

Facebook blocked 470 fake accounts linked to Russia’s Internet Research Agency.

Oct Introducing the 3D Posts.

Facebook and Instagram experiencing mass outages that impacted users from the U.S. to Eastern Europe.

Nov Launched Facebook Trust Indicators tool; Facebook Creator Studio.
Dec Facebook opened a new office in London, expecting to hire 800 new staff.

Launched Messenger Kids, a version of Messenger for children from ages six to 12.

Facebook expands use of facial recognition technology.

Jan Facebook acquired Confirm.io, a biometric ID verification startup.

Acquired Dreambit, a personalized image search engine.

Banned all cryptocurrency ads.

lost daily users for the first time.

Feb Community Help feature to the Safety Check Crisis response tool.

Job Search Feature.

Mar Cambridge Analytica harvested data of 50M Facebook users.
Apr Mark Zuckerberg attended his first congressional hearings at Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.
May The 2018 F8 was held at the San Jose Convention Center.
Jun Facebook Gaming launched.
Apr The 2019 F8 was held at the San Jose Convention Center.

540 million Facebook records were exposed on Amazon cloud servers.

May A serious hack hit WhatsApp.
Sep Facebook Dating launched.
Apr Added new “Care” reactions.

The 2020 F8 was held as a virtual event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oct Facebook banned US political ads.
Dec 46 US states and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) file antitrust suits against Facebook.
Apr Personal data of 533M Facebook users leak online.
May Launched Live Shopping Fridays.
Jun Facebook celebrates Pride month.

The 2021 F8 was held as another virtual event.

Network Features

User Profile

User ProfileMark Zuckerberg’s Facebook profiles. (via facebook.com)

A profile is a place on Facebook where you can share information about yourself, such as your interests, photos, videos, current city, and hometown.

The Wall

The WallMark Zuckerberg’s Facebook wall. (via facebook.com)

The Wall has been replaced by the Timeline profile layout. Timeline is where you share your photos, posts, and experiences on Facebook. On your Timeline, you can add a cover photo, edit your personal information, view your Facebook activity log, highlight posts or images, update your Facebook status, share Facebook app activity and add new life events to your profile.


StatusFacebook status. (via facebook.com)

Status is an update feature that allows users to discuss their thoughts, current location, or important information with their friends. A users' friends can comment, like, and sometimes share their friends' status updates. Users may also adjust their account privacy settings to determine who can see their updates.

News Feed

News FeedFacebook news feed. (via facebook.com)

News Feed includes status updates, photos, videos, links, app activity, and likes from people, Pages, and groups that you follow on Facebook.

The Group

The GroupFacebook group. (via facebook.com)

The Group is a community-based feature that gathers people with the same interests to discuss topics and share their opinions. Groups are used for collaboration and allow discussions, events, and numerous other activities. There are three types of groups on Facebook: Open: Anyone can view the group, its members, and their posts. Closed: Anyone can view the group and its members, but only members can see group posts. Secret: Only members can see the group or any of its information. People who are not members won't even be able to see that the group exists.


PageFairway Villages Facebook page. (via facebook.com)

Page is a public profile that allows artists, public figures, companies, and brands to introduce their services and activities. Benefits of pages: free and simple; versatile; connect with customers; advertise with your page. Only administrators of pages can post to the account, while those who like the page can comment on any posts and pictures.

Ad Center

This is a tab on your page where you can edit and view results for all of your ads. By viewing your ad insights in aggregate, you can better manage all current and previous ads from your Page and explore opportunities to improve them. The AdCenter tab is for managing ads you create from your Page.

Ads Manager

Ads Manager is your starting point for running ads on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, or Audience Network. It's an all-in-one tool for creating ads, managing when and where they'll run, and tracking how well your campaigns are performing.

Crisis Response

Crisis Response lets people affected by crises tell friends they're safe, find or offer help and get the latest news and information. Its first major deployment was on Saturday, in the wake of the April 2015 Nepal earthquake.


Event is a calendar-based resource that can be used to notify users of upcoming occasions. Events can be created by anyone and can be open to anyone or private. The creator can invite his friends, members of a group, or fans of a page.

When you create an event for your Page on Facebook, you can also create free or paid tickets. Tickets are created through Eventbrite, which processes purchases and manages payments for your tickets.


Facebook enabled a "Donate" button for charities and non-profit organizations to raise money.

Facebook Pay

Facebook Pay: is a seamless, and secure payment on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger in select countries. Multiple ways to pay: Send money to a friend through Messenger. Purchase games and make in-app purchases. Make donations to a charity or personal fundraiser on Facebook or Instagram. Shop on Instagram. Buy and sell items on the Marketplace and in groups.

Facebook Gaming

Facebook Gaming: is Facebook's take on gaming live streams where gamers and fans interact.

Live Videos

Lets you live stream events, performances, and gatherings on Facebook. Viewers can watch from a phone, computer, or connected TV. Reactions, shares, comments, and other interactive features enable you to engage with your audience.

A marketplace

A marketplace is a place for people and businesses to discover, buy and sell items listed on Facebook within their local community. Here are some of the benefits of selling on Marketplace: Reach buyers on Facebook where they're already browsing products. Provide fast answers with real-time messaging. Deliver useful information such as price and product description. Target buyers on the go with mobile-friendly listings.


Messenger is an instant messaging feature built into Facebook. Messenger launched in 2011 and its success gave rise to a dedicated application and website that emerged in 2014. It allows Facebook users to connect and send instant messages, emojis, photos, videos, and perform other light tasks.

Messenger Kids

Messenger Kids is a free video calling and messaging app for smartphones and tablets. Parents manage the contact list, and kids control the fun. Keep in touch with close friends and family with fun-filled features like filters and stickers, GIFs, emojis. While kids use Messenger Kids, parents can connect with them using their Messenger app.


Watch is a tab within the Facebook app and website that is built specifically for viewing and engaging with video content. For a video to appear in Watch, it must be published by a page with 5,000 followers or more; a verified Profile with 50,000 followers or more.

3D photo

Facebook has a new feature that uses machine learning to turn any ordinary photo into a 3D image that can be viewed from different perspectives if you tilt or rotate your phone, or scroll past.


Stories can be enhanced with playful creative tools such as stickers, emojis, and GIFs, as well as built-in camera effects like Boomerang and Hyperlapse. You can also use augmented reality effects. The content is able to be posted publicly on the Facebook app for only 24 hours or can be sent as a direct message to a Facebook friend.


WATCH ON watch on youtube READ ON read on facebook