Facebook was launched in February 2004 by Harvard students Mark Zuckerberg with fellow classmates Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo Saverin, and Chris Hughes, as an alternative to the traditional student directory.
Initially, Facebook membership was limited by the founders to Harvard students. Since 2006, it has been available for any email address globally, and has since then grow into the the largest social networking website, overtaking MySpace.
Members of Facebook use Facebook to keep in touch with their old friends and meet new ones, and keep them informed about recent happenings. Members can update their status, share pictures, blog messages and videos easily, also promote upcoming events.
With the explosive growth of Facebook, Facebook is becoming a social networking software development platform of its own. Members can access a wealth of application made for all purposes, and most of them are available at no cost. Facebook is already the number 1 photo sharing application on the web, draws more than twice as much traffic as its major competitors combined together. Facebook’s event application invited three times more people than other leading focused websites.
The usage of Facebook has evolved synonymously with an expanded range of uses. Activity and loyalty are two key characteristics of the Facebook community. More than half of active users return daily to Facebook, and spend an average of 20 minutes on the site. Research showed the click-through ratio is 10 to 20 times higher in Facebook than simple banner ads.
Due to its heavy usage patterns, Facebook constitutes a data-rich site for researchers to get statistics and trends. User data mining applications tools for Facebook have been developed to gather details about member’s friends in diagrams or charts, showing Facebook friends statistics including the proportion of male and female users, the percentage of those who got married, how many people are within the age of 20-40, their horoscope, which popular groups are recently joined by most friends, as well as their locations can be visualized in colorful graphics, with full control over which statistics are private or public using only a click of mouse on the control page.
In conclusion, not only does Facebook covers hundreds millions of active users, it also provides numerous ways for business owners to reach these users in a legit way, and has provided an incredible online platform for advertising or creating brand awareness. Firm can target what everyone is paying attention to on Facebook. Brands and companies should learn how to use Facebook to enable new ways of communication with their consumers, and offer new collaboration and knowledge sharing opportunities.