Facebook ( Facebook , [ˈfeɪsˌbʊk] ) is the largest social network in the world  and the company of the same name (Facebook Inc.), which owns it. It was founded on February 4, 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and his roommates while studying at Harvard University  – Eduardo Saverin , Dustin Moskowitz and Chris Hughes .
The website was originally named Thefacebookand was accessible only to students at Harvard University, then registration was opened for other universities in Boston , and then for students of any educational institutions in the United States that have an email address in the domain .edu . Since September 2006, the site has been available to all Internet users over the age of 13 with an email address .
Facebook is one of the five most visited websites in the world. As of April 2017, the monthly audience of the network is 1.968 billion people  . As of June 2017, the Facebookaudience amounted to 2 billion users  – those who visited the site at least once a month or for a specified period of time was recorded using the Like button and tracking cookies  . The daily active audience in March amounted to 720 million people – so much is recorded by the Facebook tracking network daily. August 24, 2015 the number of visitors to the social network Facebook for the first time amounted to one billion people  . 1.03 billion people use mobile app per monthFacebook  . Every day on the social network users leave 6 billion ” likes”  and the comments and publish 300 million photos. The site recorded 200 billion “friendships”  . The number of page views in October 2011 amounted to 1 trillion  , the number of video views on the site in 2015 reached 8 billion per day  .
Facebook allows you to create a profile with a photo and information about yourself, invite friends, exchange messages with them, change your status, leave messages on your own and someone else’s “walls”, upload photos and videos, create groups (communities of interest).
In 2007, Facebook invited third-party programmers to create applications (games, means of exchanging music, photos, etc.) and make money on it  . Thanks to this feature, site traffic has increased.
Facebook offers many features with which users can interact with each other. Among the most popular are virtual winks, photo albums and a “wall”, on which the user’s acquaintances can leave text and audio-visual messages.
The user can control the level of access to information published in his profile, and determine who has access to one or another part of the page.
Also on the site there is the opportunity to complain about unpleasant users or block them.
In April 2016, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook is launching Facebook Live, a new live streaming feature. Thanks to it, users can create videos, messages and transfer them to each other in real time  .
Since November 2017, the viewing of stories has become available in the web version of the site.
Facebook is a popular social network as a promotion of goods or services of companies. Facebook provides users with the ability to leave feedback, as subscribers can comment on publications, rate pages of brands so that others can see them. Facebook can link to the product’s page on Twitter, as well as send event reminders. A 2011 study links 84% of engagement or clicks with likes that link to Facebook ads  . By 2014, Facebook had restricted publishing content from company and brand pages. Changes in Facebook algorithms have reduced the audience for unpaid business pages (which have at least 500,000 likes) from 16% in 2012 to 2% in February 2014  . As of May 2018, 93% of marketers use Facebook to promote their brand in the world. .
On January 23, 2013, Facebook for Russian-speaking users renamed the Like button from Like to Like.
The main objective of the new function is to give users more ways to express their attitude to content than was possible using the traditional Like button , through the use of animated smileys with various emotional shades  .
In 2015, Facebook began testing a new advertising feature for its mobile application. The function is called “Shopping”. The main objective of the innovation is to show users the advertising of various products in their news feed. Types of goods will vary depending on their interests, contacts and their activity  .
On February 24, 2016, Facebook introduced five new types of reactions using the “Like” button. Now, with this option, account owners can express surprise, laughter, sadness, anger and love. To select one of the options, you must press and hold “Like”  .
Since October 2014, Facebook is also available through the anonymous Tor network at the .onion address    .
To achieve this, Zuckerberg hacked into secure sections of the Harvard University computer network and copied private photos. Harvard at that time did not have a student “album” (a catalog with photographs and basic information). Facemash attracted 450 visitors and 22,000 photo views during the first two hours of operation  .
The site was growing rapidly, but was closed several days later by the Harvard administration. Zuckerberg was accused by the administration of violating security, copyrights, and privacy; the punishment was to be an exception. Ultimately, however, the charges were dropped  . Zuckerberg focused on the original project. He opened a site for his classmates, where people began to share their comments on the project.
He was inspired, he said, the editorial article in the Harvard Crimson about Facemash incident  . On February 4, 2004, Zuckerberg launched Thefacebook at thefacebook.com  .
Six days after the site was launched, three Harvard undergraduates – Cameron Winklevoss , Tyler Winklevoss and Divya Narendra – accused Zuckerberg of deliberately misleading them as if he would help them create the HarvardConnection.com social network, but instead, Mark, using their ideas , built a competing product  . They complained to Harvard Crimson University newspaper, and she began an investigation. Subsequently, a lawsuit was filed against Zuckerberg  .
Membership in the social network was initially limited to students at Harvard University, and during the first month more than half of Harvard students were registered in it  . Soon Zuckerberg was joined by Eduardo Saverin (CFO), Dustin Moskowitz (programmer), Andrew McCollum (artist) and Chris Hughes to help promote the site. In March 2004, the Facebook audience was expanded to Stanford , Columbia University and Yale  . He later opened at other Ivy League universities , Boston University ,New York University , Massachusetts Institute of Technology , Tufts University , and then at most universities in Canada and the United States. In June 2004 Facebook moved to Palo Alto ( CA )  . Before moving, Zuckerberg and Saverin met Sean Parker in a Chinese restaurant in Manhattan  . A few weeks later they collide already in Palo Alto . In mid-2004, Facebook registered as a company, and Parker became its first president  . In the same month, the company received its first investment from the founder of PayPal Peter Thiel  . It was Sean who found the first investors for Facebook: Peter Thiel and Reed Hoffman., and in the process of obtaining investments, he made sure that 3 of 5 places on the board of directors were left for Mark  . According to Thiel, Sean was the first to see potential in the company and “if Mark had any doubts for a second, Sean cut them off right there.” In 2005, Parker leaves the company. Despite this, he remains involved in the Facebook development process and regularly meets with Zuckerberg  .
In 2005, the company removed the name “ The” from its name after purchasing the facebook.com domain name in 2005 for $ 200,000  .
Since September 26, 2006, access to the social network has been open to every Internet user over 13 years old with an email address.
October 24, 2007 Microsoft announced the acquisition of a 1.6% stake in Facebook for $ 240 million, thereby valuing the entire company at $ 15 billion  . Microsoft has gained the right to post international ads on Facebook  . In October 2008, Facebook announced the opening of its international headquarters in Dublin  . In September 2009, profit was first announced  . In November 2010 , based on data from SecondMarket Inc, the company’s value amounted to $ 41 billion (which is slightly higher than that of eBay) Thus, Facebook became the third largest Internet company in the USA (after Google and Amazon )  . On January 2, 2011, according to The New York Times , the value of Facebook reached $ 50 billion  . May 18, 2012 IPO .
Facebook traffic has grown steadily since 2009 . On March 13, 2010, more people visited Facebook than Google  . Facebook also became the best social network in eight separate markets in the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore , New Zealand, Hong Kong and Vietnam , while other brands held leading positions only in selected markets, including Google Orkut in India
On June 13, 2009, users had the opportunity to independently choose the address of their page  ( www.facebook.com/ <selected_address> ) at a time when, in many other social networks, a user’s page can be accessed only by identifier .2010 year
On September 30, 2010, the company signed an agreement with Skype’s Internet telephony service , according to which it will be integrated into a social network  .
On October 7, a new group interface was introduced, written from scratch. Developers expect that the innovation will allow faster and more secure exchange of information between a limited circle of people (friends, colleagues, family, etc.). Among the features of the new groups: the possibility of joint editing of documents, group chat, the publication of messages by e-mail  .
On the night of November 15-16, the head of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg during the presentation officially announced the launch of his own postal service  .
The best film of 2010 in the dramatic genre on January 16, 2011, at the 86th ceremony of presenting the prestigious Golden Globes film awards . The film was also awarded three Oscars for best editing, music and adapted script.
At a presentation on July 6, Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of video chat on the Skype platform.
September 22 at the F8 conference, Mark Zuckerberg introduced a new service – Timeline 
In 2011, a group of hackers calling themselves “ Anonymous ” threatened to destroy the Facebook social network on November 11  . However, the threat was not carried out. Later, information appeared that the threats did not come from the entire group, but from its individual members  .
On November 18, Facebook and Skype announced calls from the audio and video calling platform to the social network.
On February 16, 2012, it became known that Facebook will have the function of confirming the profiles of popular users. In this case, the network administration itself will decide who will receive the offer to confirm their account  .
On April 9, 2012, Facebook announced the purchase of Instagram for $ 1 billion. Instagram was launched in October 2010 and until April 2012 was presented only as an application for iPhone, iPad and iPod. By the end of March 2012, the number of users of the photo service reached 30 million people. According to a Facebook press release, the deal was worth about a billion dollars. It is planned to close the deal before the end of June. This is the first Facebook takeover of this magnitude  . Facebook will transfer $ 300 million to the owners of the photo service and transfer about 23 million of its shares. In addition, the social network pledged in the event of a transaction failure to pay Instagram a penalty of $ 200 million  .
On April 23, 2012, it became known that Microsoft will sell part of the patents acquired from the AOL Internet holding to the Facebook social network . Of the 925 patents and patent applications that AOL will transfer to Microsoft, Facebook will receive approximately 650. For this, the social network will pay 550 million US dollars. The remaining 275 patents and applications from Microsoft will be able to use Facebook under license. After the transaction is completed, the patent portfolio of Facebook will consist of about 1,460 patents and applications, the TechCrunch blog clarifies  . 60 of them are own patents of the social network, and another 750 are purchased from IBM   . Facebook Presumably Involves Patents Purchased in a Yahoo!. In February 2012, Yahoo! accused the social network of violating 10 of its patents, including those related to online advertising. Facebook in early April filed a counterclaim against the holding   , but already in July 2012, an amicable agreement was concluded between the companies, which put an end to all disputes and disagreements between the companies. According to the terms of this agreement, both companies will represent each other with mutual licensing of Internet technologies  .
On May 18, 2012, Facebook placed its IPO shares on the NASDAQ exchange for $ 38 per share, the upper limit of the price range announced by the company a few days ago (the lower limit is $ 34). It turns out that the entire social network is valued at $ 104 billion (including the shares to be issued in the future), and the amount raised is $ 18.4 billion (including the option for underwriting banks , if it is realized). The company itself and its shareholders raised $ 16 billion. In total, 421.2 million Facebook shares were sold as part of the IPO, of which 180 million were sold by the company itself, and 241.23 million were sold by its shareholders. IPO Facebook – the largest among the placements of technology companies and the largest in the US since the placement of Visa, which raised $ 19.7 billion in 2008.