Facebook (stylized as facebook) is a for-profit corporation and online social networking service based in Menlo Park, California, United States. The Facebook website was launched on February 4, 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, along with fellow Harvard College students and roommates, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes.
The founders had initially limited the website’s membership to Harvard students; however, later they expanded it to higher education institutions in the Boston area, the Ivy League schools, and Stanford University. Facebook gradually added support for students at various other universities, and eventually to high school students as well. Since 2006, anyone age 13 and older has been allowed to become a registered user of Facebook, though variations exist in the minimum age requirement, depending on applicable local laws. The Facebook name comes from the face book directories often given to United States university students.
After registering to use the site, users can create a user profile, add other users as “friends”, exchange messages, post status updates and photos, share videos, use various applications (apps), and receive notifications when others update their profiles. Additionally, users may join common-interest user groups organized by workplace, school, or other topics, and categorize their friends into lists such as “People From Work” or “Close Friends”. In groups, editors can pin posts to top. Additionally, users can complain about or block unpleasant people. Because of the large volume of data that users submit to the service, Facebook has come under scrutiny for their privacy policies.
Facebook, Inc. held its initial public offering (IPO) in February 2012, and began selling stock to the public three months later, reaching an original peak market capitalization of $104 billion. On July 13, 2015, Facebook became the fastest company in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to reach a market cap of $250 billion. Facebook has more than 1.65 billion monthly active users as of March 31, 2016.
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