Facebook is the most-used global social networking website. It is operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. Users can add friends and send them messages, and update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves. Additionally, users can join networks organized by city, workplace, school, and region. The website's name stems from the colloquial name of books given at the start of the academic year by university administrations (known at Carleton as Zoo Books) with the intention of helping students get to know each other better.
Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook with his college roommates and fellow computer science students Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes while he was a student at Harvard University. The website's membership was initially limited to Harvard students, but was expanded to other colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University. It later expanded further to include any university student, then high school students, and, finally, to anyone aged 13 and over.
In 2009, Facebook, Inc. reported 300 million users (70% outside of the USA). The fastest growing demographic group is people over 35 years old, and the average user has 130 friends on Facebook.
Original CarlWiki entry, 2005-06 (history is a good thing)
Facebook, originally called Thefacebook, is a social networking website that allows college students to post a personal profile and link to friends' profiles to create social networks. Similar to MySpace, Facebook is open only to college and university students, alumni, and faculty. Registration requires a valid email address at a participating college or university.
It was founded in February of 2004 by a sophomore at Harvard, and has rapidly expanded to include other colleges. Since then, Facebook has turned down large buyout offers. It reached Carleton in Spring Term 2004. The first mention of it having been opened to Carleton on Caucus was on Oct 26, 2004, and on Nov 02, 2004 it was noted that of Carleton's 1900+ students, approximately 700 are currently on Facebook. Anyone with a Carleton email address can join Facebook, but few staff, faculty, or alumni have done so.
Since its inception, Facebook has added a number of new features. Profile information such as Summer Break Plans, Spring Break Plans, Favorite Movies, Work Info, and the ever popular Photos has been added. The ability to upload photos was added to Facebook in Fall Term '05. Students can upload pictures, organize them into albums, and add tags to identify people in the photos. Facebook possesses one of the most advanced photo tagging systems available online, providing features sites like Flickr have yet to replicate, such as the ability to mouseover a person in a photo and identify them.