In the 1990's, no one had any idea of what Facebook was and how it would impact the social lives of many individuals in the world. Ever since its creation, Facebook has grown tremendously from a site that was used in colleges to a social network that has over a billion users globally with the numbers of users always growing. The social networking website founded by Mark Zuckerberg is very famous and widely used, which has led to it being integrated into other web sites, so one can use their Facebook account when trying to sign in those sites. Facebook is unique in its design as it allows the users to connect and share with his or her family and friends online messages, videos and photos with geographical barriers being of a little problem.
Mark Zuckerburg was born in 1984 to a dentist Edward Zuckerburg and Karen Zuckerberg, his mother, who is a psychiatrist. He is the second-born child in his family and a brother to three sisters; Arielle, Randi, and Donna. His family lived in Dobbs Ferry, New York, where he was raised. Mark practiced the Jewish religion ever since he was a child. He attended Ardsley High School, and later went to Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. After a series of great grade performances, he graduated and later entered Harvard University, which is well-known for producing innovators in science and business ("Mark Zuckerberg Biography-Childhood," n.d). During his high school education, he was very good at playing fencing, which led to him being appointed the captain of the fencing club.
Beginning of His Career
Mark's interests in software programs at a young age gave him the privilege to learn Atari BASICS from his father and his tutor. This enabled him to create a messenger program that allowed computers at their home and at his father's dental office to connect to each other. This allowed an easy exchange of information between the computers. In addition, his innovative ideas helped him create an Mp3 program that could predict the next track song that a listener would like to listen. This program interested IT corporations that wanted to acquire it, but the young Mark Zuckerburg turned down the offer. Despite performing wonderfully in his school coursework in such subjects as science and literature, he still remained mainly interested in coding, programming, and development of computer software. After he was accepted to Harvard University to do computer science and psychology, his interest in programming grew and he was able to create software known as Course Match. The program was very useful to the students since it enabled them to choose their subjects according to their interests ("Mark Zuckerberg story- bio," n.d). When he was helping other programmers to create a social website, he got the idea of creating Facebook, and with the help of his friends, he introduced Facebook to other colleges, which then led to the continuous expansion of the social networking website. Today, Mr. Zuckerburg holds 60% of the shares with the rest being divided among his co-founders.
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Development over the Years
In 2004, while still in campus, Mark registered the domain TheFacebook.com, which marked the beginning of the social network website. At the time, Facebook was only used by the students within Harvard University and had over four thousand registered users within the campus. Mark and his friends decided to expand outside the university by introducing the site to other universities, such as Yale and Stanford. The only thing that was needed to register was an email address, which was used to create a profile. Facebook became very popular and was growing beyond the borders of the university; many people became very interested in the social network site ("Mark Zuckerberg Biography: The Success," n.d). Mark and his friend searched for investors who would help in the growth and expansion of the site and by 2005, the site was open to the public to those who were interested. Since then, it has grown tremendously and almost anyone with an eligible email address could sign in and be a registered user.
In his sophomore year, Mark developed a website called Facemash that students used to vote for faces they preferred. This led to many controversies because firstly, Zuckerberg hacked Harvard student database information and used the photos of the students illegally, which led to a disciplinary action. Secondly, many students did not like the idea of them being ranked according to their appearances. The website was using the Harvard University's serves, which were very overwhelming for the computers due to the massive data resources that they required.
After Mark Zuckerburg launched Facebook, some senior university students claimed that he had stolen their idea after they had contacted him to program and code a social site they had planned to launch in the university (Carlson, 2010). The allegation led to lawsuits with Mark and Facebook being accused of theft and fraud. The lawsuit continued until the both parties decided to reach a settlement that made both parties content.
The issue of privacy of the users' accounts has been a constant bone of contention giving Facebook a bad image. Mark was accused of hacking the accounts of users, reading their messages and changing some of their profiles information (Fisher, 2010). Though such claims were not proved, it led to many questions on the users' side of whether their personal information is safe. Recently, the change in the news feed feature that informed the user of any recent events and information was changed, and what is available to the user became controlled. Many users were not pleased with such changes and opted to go to alternative social networks (Cartalucci, 2014).
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Mark Zuckerberg has established such an education foundation as a 'Startup', which aims at improving the quality of education that was being provided in public schools. He has also donated to various schools and hospitals, for example to Newark Public Schools and San Francisco General Hospital. After the birth of his daughter, Mark and his wife decided to donate 99 percent of their Facebook shares to charities ("Mark Zuckerberg Biography-Childhood," n.d). This is not the first time the couple has donated to charities; they had donated twenty-five million dollars to help victims who were affected by the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
In 2010, Mark Zuckerberg was awarded the coveted title 'Person of The Year' by Time magazine leaving behind such famous people as Lady Gaga. In 2011, a newspaper in Israel The Jerusalem Post named him the most influential Jew that year, and in 2013, he was awarded the 'Crunchies CEO of The Year'.
Facebook is working with other companies, such as Nokia, Ericsson Opera Software, and Samsung, to create Internet.org, which aims at ensuring that people and children in developing countries are able to access the Internet through Free Basics Platform (Chan, 2015). However, the project has come under much scrutiny with opposing groups claiming that Free Basics violates the net neutrality. Facebook has been adding new features to its website, for example new emoticons that have been useful when writing messages. This was also done with the goal of making the social network more competitive and attractive for the users.
Facebook seeks to establish itself as an icon of mobile advertising. It aims at using the social network as a global mobile advertising market by increasing the quality of the content and targets the right people for these advertisements (Zaleski, 2015). These advertisements will also be useful to the company since it will earn the company much money.
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Mark Zuckerburg, the CEO and founder of Facebook, invented one of the worlds' most amazing social networks. The website has been considered by many as another world where people can meet and have conversations while sharing information about what is new and interesting in their lives since anyone who is minimum thirteen years and has an email address can become a registered user. The creation of Facebook did not come without its controversies and lawsuits, but it has contributed to the revolution in means that people use to communicate when compared to emails and phone calls. Today, Facebook is not the only social network that is popular. The creation of other social networks, such as WhatsApp, Instagram and twitter, are changing the face of networking and communication. Therefore, for Facebook to keep being appealing to the users, it should try to improve some of its features while ensuring that the privacy of the users' personal information is maintained.
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