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The History of Facebook

This is a chart showing the number of monthly active users on Facebook from 2004 to 2012.

Inside Facebook


Facebook was originally founded by Mark Zukerberg with some of his classmates from Harvard University, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes.  They were Students of the Computer Science. It was launched in February 2004.

Hot or Not

Facebook was invented by a Harvard computer science student Mark Zukerberg, along with some of his classmates in a Computer Science class.The website was originally and briefly called Facemash. Mark  was a second year student, when he wrote the software for the Facemash website. They said it could have been his sophomoric sense of humor that led him to create the site as a type of “hot or not” game for Harvard students, where the visitors on the website could compare two student photos side-by-side and let viewers decide who was “hot” and who was “not”. Mark hacked into the Harvard security code where he copied students photos to populate the Facesmash site. 

Fashmash opened on October 28, 2003,and then it closed a few days later because it was shut down by Harvard execs.  He also faced expulsion from Harvard University for his actions. 
TheFacebook(They had a “the”)

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In 2004, Mark started to write a new code for a new website known as “thefacebook”. Mark  said in an article for The Harvard Crimson that he was inspired to make Facebook from the incident of Facemash: “It is clear that the technology needed to create a centralized Website is readily available … the benefits are many.”
On February 4th, He told The Crimson, “Everyone’s been talking a lot about a universal face book within Harvard. I think it’s kind of silly that it would take the University a couple of years to get around to it as I can do it better than they can, and I can do it in a week”. Mark intended to create a universal website that can contact all the students in the university. 

However, it at first only allowed to Harvard students only but the idea got ruined and it became available around the world.


In 2004, an angel investor, Sean Parker (founder of Napster) became the company’s president. The company then changed the name from TheFacebook to just Facebook after purchasing the domain name in 2005 for $200,000.

Mark Zuckerberg’s antics finally payed off when profits from Facebook made him the world’s youngest multi-billionaire.