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The most popular social networking site, which allows anyone to share photos, comments and videos online. Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, the site is free to members and derives its revenue from ads. The Facebook name came from the paper document with names and faces issued to college freshmen to help them get acquainted with each other.

Using the built-in search, members can locate other Facebook members and "friend" them by sending them an invitation, or they can invite people to join Facebook (see Faceslam). Facebook offers instant messaging and photo sharing, and Facebook's email is the only messaging system many students ever use.

Timeline/Wall, News Feed and Ticker
The Timeline (new format) or Wall (old format) is the area on Facebook where members post comments and their current status and location as well as upload photos and videos.

The News Feed shows the activity of the people and organizations members follow, while very active members see updates in real-time on their Ticker.

Profiles, Pages and Groups
There are three types of representation on Facebook. Individuals create a Facebook "Profile," which is normally a two-way interaction with friends. Businesses create a Facebook "Page" to promote products and brands. Also called a "Fan Page," all members are accepted as fans, and although comments can be posted by them, a Page is primarily a one-way broadcast from the business. In addition, Facebook provides demographic statistics about usage. See Facebook Like.

The third presence is a Facebook "Group," and any community of people may create one. Group administrators may accept all members or reject requests based on the Group's criteria.

Explosive Growth
Initially targeting Harvard students, Facebook was later opened to other universities and then high schools. In 2006, it allowed everyone to join and added a News Feed feature that would broadcast changes in members' pages to all Facebook users identified in their network of friends. It turned Facebook into a personalized social news service that by 2010 had more than 500 million members. Two years later, Facebook surpassed one billion users, and today, more than two billion people use the service.

Facebook Platform
In 2007, Facebook introduced its application platform to developers. By 2010, more than a half million applications were available for business, education and entertainment. Games have been the most popular, and Facebook Credits were created to provide virtual money to spend while playing. See Facebook Workplace, Facebook Live, Facebook Platform, Open Graph, Facebook Gaming, Facebook Graph Search, Facebook Messenger, Facebook M, social networking service and social advertising.

Beyond Personal
Facebook is not only a venue for personal information but is increasingly commercial. Vendors and celebrities use Facebook Pages to publish product information and agendas.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Summary: New Delhi [India], Sept 17 (ANI): The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has written to Facebook Inc, United Kingdom-based Global Science Research (GSR) and Cambridge Analytica (CA) seeking information regarding the alleged data theft case, according to sources.
5 September 2013 - Russian Internet company Mail.ru Group Ltd (LON:MAIL; LON:61HE) on Thursday said it had shed the 14.2m shares in Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) it had left, raising over USD525m (EUR399m) from its exit.
Facebook Inc. went public in May 2012 at 38 dollars per share but trading glitches marred the initial public stock offering, with the shares going down to 17.55 dollars in September, the report added.
Facebook Inc. has confirmed on Thursday it will build a 147,000-square-foot data center in Prineville, Oregon.
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Facebook Inc. said it has acquired FriendFeed, a start-up that allow users to share links and status updates online, folding in a potential rival that struggled to take off.
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The court also asked two U.S.-based entities- Facebook Inc and Google Inc - to reply to the plea of former BJP ideologue K.N.
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9 May 2013 - US tech giant Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is in advanced negotiations to take over Israel-based app developer Waze Ltd in a deal which could be worth between USD800m (EUR608m) and USD1bn, Israeli daily Calcalist said today.