February 4 marks the day the most popular social hub in the world was launched. It was nine years ago when a small program called Facemash was used in Harvard University.  It turned out to the makings of the largest and most popular social media website.  With the rise of smartphone apps, Facebook reached one billion active users in September 2012, which is another breakthrough in internet history. It’s a figure that Twitter would be too hard to follow anytime soon, since it’s only known active members is just around half a billion in 2012.

Everyone knows Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and maker of Facemash.  It’s no secret that he hacked protected Harvard computer files to extract student pictures and information.  It was because of his uncontainable intelligence that Harvard’s system was shut down due to security breaches.  Facemash’s membership was initially restricted to Harvard students. It soon expanded to include students from Stanford, Yale and other Ivy League schools. When Facebook was incorporated in 2004, Zuckerberg and his business advisor, Sean Parker, moved the operations to Palo Alto, California.  Facebook was finally opened to the public in September, 2006.

In the past nine years, Facebook completely changed the world socially and economically.  Anyone who does not own a Facebook account is considered anti-social and odd.   Even the oldest known woman in the world who is 105 years old has a Facebook page and knows how to go about it.  If there’s someone you have not seen for years, you can find them on Facebook and even be updated, complete with pictures and daily posts.  When something has happened anywhere around the world, people will share the story through Facebook, thus making it a news site too.  And when Facebook incorporated games in its platform, it just froze all other social networking sites.

Politicians soon saw the potential of Facebook in boosting their popularity.  Companies did not think twice of advertising through a Facebook page.  Conventional business is slowly getting integrated in Facebook and it’s just a matter of time before Facebook will take the place of E-bay and Paypal.  Meanwhile, Facebook’s market value steadily rose and it was estimated to be at $41 billion in 2010.  Facebook did not stop there, though.  In May 2012, the company held an initial public offering of shares priced at $38 apiece.  It valued the company at a whopping $104 billion, making it the largest valuation for any newly listed public company.

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