In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo SaverinAndrew McCollum & Chris Hughes,all Harvard University students, launched a Website designed to put students in touch with one another, share their photos and meet new people. They called it thefacebook.com, & before long the site became extremely popular on the Harvard campus. A month after the site launched, the creators expanded it to include students from Stanford, Columbia and Yale. By 2005, students in 800 college networks across the United States could join the network, and its membership grew to more than 5 million active users. In August of that year, the site's name changed to Facebook.
Facebook was originally intended for college students, but today anyone can join the network. Although the site's scope has expanded to include more than just students, its purpose remains the same -- giving people a way to share information in an easy and entertaining way. Like MySpace, Facebook is a social networking site.
To explore Facebook, you must create a free account on the site. Facebook's terms of use state that members must be at least 13 years old, and any member between the ages of 13 and 18 must be enrolled in school. Facebook requires new members to provide a valid e-mail address before completing registration. Once you've created an account and answered a few questions about where you work, where you went to school and where you live, Facebook will generate a profile for you.
Facebook provides several ways to find friends:
You can browse and join networks, which are organized into four categories: regions (networks that are linked to specific cities or countries), colleges, workplaces and high schools. Once you join a network, you can browse through the list of members and search for people you know. You can sort people by age, sex, relationship status, political views and other criteria.
You can let Facebook pull contacts from a Web-based e-mail account. To do this, you have to give Facebook your e-mail address and password. Facebook uses a program that searches through your e-mail contacts and compares the list against its membership database. Whenever Facebook discovers a match, it gives you the option to add that person as a friend.
You can use Facebook's search engine to look for a specific person. Type the person's name into the search field, and Facebook will display any profiles that match the name.

Facebook Profiles
Your Facebook profile is the Web page other members will see if they look you up. It gives people an idea about who you are and what your interests include. Facebook assumes that many of the people with whom you'll want to connect work for the same company, went to the same school or live in the same town as you.
To make it easier to find friends both old and new, Facebook gathers information about you and everyone else to create a dense network of contacts. The upside is that you'll be able to see old classmates or coworkers who have Facebook accounts; the downside is that everyone else in that network will be able to find you. You can choose not to answer questions or to adjust privacy settings so that others can't find you, but that tends to defeat the purpose of a social networking site. ­
Your unmodified profile has:
  • A space where you can upload a profile picture.
  • A friends section, which displays pictures of Facebook members you've befriended.
  • A section that shows the personal information you've decided to share with other members. This can include your birthday, work history, education and interests.
  • A mini-feed section, which informs visitors about what you've been up to. If you change your profile picture or add a friend, the mini-feed will display a message about it.
  • A comments section called the wall, where other members can leave messages for you.
  • If you visited another member's unmodified profile, you'd see the same fields and sections, but under his or her profile picture you'd have a few more options, including:
  • Instant message, which opens up a Facebook application IM client
  • Sending the person a message, a function similar to e-mail
  • An option to add the person as a friend, if he or she is not already your friend -- the next time the other member logs into Facebook, he or she will see the friend request and can accept, reject or ignore it.
When you log into your account, you arrive at your personal Facebook homepage. The basic homepage layout includes a news feed that keeps you updated about what your friends and networks are up to. There's also a status update section, which contains notices about messages you've received, invitations to events, notices about applications your friends would like you to try and a place where you can tell people how you're feeling or what you're up to. There's also a link that lets you invite friends to join Facebook.
Business owners, artists, bands and public figures can make special Facebook profiles. Instead of becoming friends with the owners of these accounts, you can become a fan. If you work for a company that doesn't have a presence of Facebook, it's a good idea to discuss a strategy with others before creating an account -- most human resources departments don't care for surprises.
You can customize your Facebook profile using Facebook applications, some of which were developed by members just like yourself. In the next section, we'll learn about the rich world of Facebook applications.

Facebook Facts and Figures
While the company began as the pet project for a group of Harvard students, today it calls Palo Alto,California , home (the company also has an office in New York). Facebook has more than 350 employees, and the benefits package sounds pretty sweet. It includes:
·         Medical, dental and vision health plans with no premiums
·         401(k) plan
·         Four weeks vacation and eight company holidays
·         Free catered breakfast, lunch and dinner every day
·         Dry cleaning and laundry services
·         An IBM Thinkpad or Apple MacBook Pro -- employee's choice
Facebook's popularity continues to grow day by day. The company claims that it has more than 57 million active members -- users who have logged onto Facebook over the last 30 day period -- on the site. Since January 2007, the average number of new registrations per day is 250,000. Facebook says that the number of active users doubles every six months. Members from the United States account for most of Facebook's population, followed by members in Canada and the United Kingdom.
Facebook also claims to be the No. 1 image-sharing service on the Internet, drawing more traffic than the second-, third- and fourth- place sites combined. In terms of image numbers, this means that Facebook receives more than 14 million uploaded images every day. Because there's no limit on how many images a member can upload and new members arrive at Facebook every day, this number will likely continue to rise exponentially.
Since June 2007, when Facebook first allowed third-party developers to create applications, developers have debuted more than 7,000 programs on the Facebook platform. Every day, developers introduce another 100 applications to the site. Facebook estimates that more than 80 percent of all members have used at least one third-party application.
Because it is so popular and heavily trafficked, Facebook requires massive amounts of storage space, both in a digital and physical sense. According to one Facebook employee, the company relies on around 200memcached servers for production (day-to-day operation of the site) and a few more for developmental purposes. "Memcached" stands for memory caching, a method of temporarily storing data. A memcached server temporarily stores information in the server's memory, reducing the need to search a database for information. This decreases the amount of time it takes between a request for information and the delivery of that data.
Facebook also uses custom-built servers for back-end operations and a monitoring system to keep track of all the servers. Servers take up space, so Facebook leases facilities from vendors for server storage. In 2007, Facebook signed an agreement with DuPont Fabros Technology (DFT) to lease 10,000 square feet of space in an Ashburn, Va., storage center.
So how does Facebook make enough money to cover its expenses? It generates some revenue by selling web advertising space, but the majority of its funding comes from private investors. According to Facebook, it has received more than $40 million in funding since it launched in 2004.

Social Plugins


Social plugins let you see what your friends have liked, commented on or shared on sites across the web.

Like Button

The Like button lets users share pages from your site back to their Facebook profile with one click.

Send Button
The Send button allows your users to easily send your content to their friends.

Embedded Posts

Embedded Posts let you add any public post from Facebook to your blog or web site.

Follow Button

The Follow button allows people to subscribe to other Facebook users directly from your site. (This was previously called the Subscribe Button.)


The Comments plugin lets users comment on any piece of content on your site.

Share Dialog

The Share Dialog lets users add a comment and customize the title and thumbnail of the link they share.

Activity Feed

The Activity Feed plugin shows users what their friends are doing on your site through likes and comments.

Recommendations Box

The Recommendations plugin gives users personalized suggestions for pages on your site they might like.

Recommendations Bar

The Recommendations Bar allows users to like content, get recommendations, and share what they’re reading with their friends.

Like Box

The Like Box enables users to like your Facebook Page and view its stream directly from your website.

Login Button

The Login Button shows profile pictures of the user's friends who have already signed up for your site in addition to a login button.


The registration plugin allows users to easily sign up for your website with their Facebook account.


The Facepile plugin displays the Facebook profile pictures of users who have liked your page or have signed up for your site.

Vipul Chahal
CSE - Y batch