Welcome to Facebook

Facebook. It’s such a small word for such a huge phenomenon.

In February 2004, four Harvard students launched a website that would change the way people communicated worldwide. Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes originally opened thefacebook.com to Harvard students as a way for students to connect over the internet with the people they already knew, basically creating a social circle online. As the website grew, it expanded to more college campuses across the United States and eventually the world. In August 2005, thefacebook.com was officially changed to Facebook and, in September 2005, the network was officially opened to high school students. It now includes more than 300 million people globally.

The site evolved quickly from a simple way to look up local friends to a multi-billion dollar corporation. Over 6 billion minutes are spent on the site a day. During those 6 billion minutes, users are connecting instantly from around the planet to “chat,” upload photos, write “Notes,” send “Flair,” or use any of the countless applications that the networking site offers. About 92 percent of the NW student body has a Facebook account. It not only offers entertainment to all ages, but a way for businesses and professional companies to display and advertise their goods and services. In fact, hundreds of millions of dollars are generated in ad revenue for Facebook each year, which is how it makes its money.

Although Facebook may just be another passing fad, it has led to the creation of other sites like Twitter and LinkedIn, changing the way the world communicates.

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KarenKaren Baltzley, sophomore “Me and my boyfriend of two years decided together we would set our relationship statuses as single, alluding we broke up on Facebook to see how people would respond. Within minutes I had three friends call to see if I was okay and people kept commenting on it saying “What happened” and “No.” People were mad when we told them it was a joke.”

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drop11aBette Hursh, sophomore “Facebook is just dumb and it deleted my Facebook . I don’t know . It just like deleted and I was like ‘I have all my pictures on there.’ My cousin died in January and we were friends on Facebook. Now I can’t look at her Facebook anymore because when I emailed the Facebook people they were like ‘Sorry, we can’t help you’. So I lost all my stuff. Then I created a new one, but I’m about ready to delete it because I think that if someone needs to talk to me they can come find me or give me a call. Don’t do it all through the internet. It drives me crazy.”

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dropaCharity Medis, sophomore “One day I was on Facebook and this creepy guy with a really long name, he added me. It said he was from Ecuador and we had no mutual friends, but I added him anyway. He looked like 40 years old. Then he started talking to me. He would talk to me in a different language. Soon enough, I deleted him as a friend.”

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drop3aMike Marcus, junior “I literally haven’t talked to my best friend from preschool in 10 years, and now we are pretty good friends, and it’s because we found each other on Facebook by accident.”

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drop1aJohn McNair, senior “I met this girl on Facebook, I don’t know how, but this was back in 7th or 8th grade. So then I met with her, and I wasn’t sure if she was dating someone, and then I kissed her. I figured out she had a boyfriend, and they broke up and now I’ve become good friends with the kid.”

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Facebook Glossary

Chat: Instant messaging with friends who are online at the same time.
Facebook stalking: Socially acceptable stalking, generally includes looking at other people’s statuses, profiles, photos, and news feeds.
Fan: Users may become “fans” of people, places, objects, or basically anything that they like.
Highlights: This list is selected by Facebook to show the most visited pages, photos, etc. based on the action of a user’s friends.
Like: Users can “like” status, posts, comments, and/or basically anything that is on Facebook.
News Feed: A list of current events happening on Facebook, which updates every few seconds with new statuses, posts of pictures, etc.
Notifications: A virtual newswire of who has written on a user’s wall or updated their status, posted new photos, events, and much more. Notifications tell users about new games or quizzes other friends are taking, etc.
Poke: Originally a way to let users know when others are checking them out, many people use it now as a way to kindly annoy their friends.
Tag: When a user is tagged, it sets a link up to their profile page, as well as letting all other users know if the
person is located in a specific picture, status, note, etc.
Username: Used to provide a way to look up friends and find profiles on Facebook, by typing the username after www.facebook.com in the URL.

-Maria Davison and Brianna Leyden.