The Rise of Facebook

As websites go, Facebook, or is certainly a success story. A young college student, Mark Zuckerberg, developed the website,, for his peers to use at Harvard. In a matter of four years, Zuckerberg’s website expanded from a few hundred Harvard students to more than 62 million active users from around the globe. The site has gone from a few Ivy League students looking to locate friends to a major marketing and social networking tool for junior high, high school and college students as well as young professionals, businessmen, and industry powerhouses.

Like many websites phenomenon, Facebook began as a simple operation and virtually exploded overnight. One day Zuckerberg was designing a social site for a few friends, the next day he was working on his own concept (although the originality is currently being debated in court), and now, a few years later, he is likely to be one of the youngest billionaires around.

The New MySpace
Social websites are nothing new. As the internet community grows closer and more conversational, community and social sites will continue to appear and grow. Facebook follows in the path of MySpace, but has an image and success story of its own unaffected by the social giant. MySpace might have made the social concepts exciting and new for mainstream society, but Facebook has taken that enthusiasm and run with it.

A Natural Expansion
Facebook began as a college networking website. When it was first developed, Facebook was available only to Harvard. It wasn’t more than a few months later that the site was opened to other Ivy League schools in the area. Over the first year, the site continued to expand and other colleges joined the program. Within eighteen months, over 2,000 colleges had communities within Facebook including many outside of the US.

In 2005, Facebook expanded into the most popular social community on the planet – teenage high school students. Originally students had to be invited to join separate communities within Facebook, but within only fifteen days, kids could join almost any community after registering with the site – no invitations required.

Further expansions included adding a marketplace and allowing users to upload photos. Currently Facebook is the most popular location to upload photos on the web. Facebook was also opened to companies and other individuals unaffiliated with schools. The site now also contains a dating or personals service and has a whole network available to marketers interested in hosting pages or ads on the site as well as a system of collecting analytics from users to help these marketers.

A Fickle Crowd
It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Facebook. MySpace was the darling of the social scene for years, but now it seems Facebook is moving into that coveted spot. Young people are notorious fickle. Combined with the ever-changing online environment, the desire for something new and exciting will certainly keep Zuckerberg and his crew on their toes.

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