Founded in February 2004, Facebook is a social utility that helps people communicate more efficiently with their friends, family and coworkers. The company develops technologies that facilitate the sharing of information through the social graph, the digital mapping of people’s real-world social connections. Anyone can sign up for Facebook and interact with the people they know in a trusted environment.
Facebook, the product, is made up of core site functions and applications. Fundamental features to the experience on Facebook are a person’s Home page and Profile. The Home page includes News Feed, a personalized feed of his or her friends updates. The Profile displays information about the individual he or she has chosen to share, including interests, education and work background and contact information. Facebook also includes core applications – Photos, Events, Videos, Groups, and Pages – that let people connect and share in rich and engaging ways. Additionally, people can communicate with one another through Chat, personal messages, Wall posts, Pokes, or Status Updates.
Facebook is one of the most-trafficked sites in the world and has had to build infrastructure to support this rapid growth. The company is the largest user in the world of memcached, an open source caching system, and has one of the largest MySQL database clusters anywhere. The site is largely written in PHP though the engineering team developed a way to programmatically transform PHP source code into C++ to gain performance benefits. Facebook has built a lightweight but powerful multi-language RPC framework that seamlessly and easily ties together infrastructure services written in any language, running on any platform. The company has created a custom-built search engine serving millions of queries a day, completely distributed and entirely in-memory, with real-time updates. Facebook relies heavily on open source software and releases large pieces of its own software infrastructure as open source. See http://facebook.com/engineering and http://facebook.com/opensource.
Facebook Platform is a development platform that enables companies and engineers to deeply integrate with the Facebook website and gain access to millions of users through the social graph. Facebook is a part of millions of people’s lives all around the world providing unparalleled distribution potential for applications and the opportunity to build a business that is highly relevant to people’s lives. More information can be found at <http://developers.facebook.com>.
Privacy, Safety and Security
Round one: $500,000 from Peter Thiel, Summer 2004; Round two: $12.7 million from Accel Partners, April 2005; Round three: $27.5 million from Greylock Partners leading the round, Meritech Capital Partners participating, and Accel Partners and Peter Thiel increasing their investment in the company.
Members: Mark Zuckerberg, Marc Andreessen, Jim Breyer, Don Graham, Reed Hastings, Erskine Bowles and Peter Thiel; Observer: David Sze; Observer: Paul Madera
Over 800 million active (users who have returned to the site in the last 30 days)
Headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif. U.S. offices: Atlanta; Birmingham, Michigan; Chicago; Dallas; Detroit; New York; Venice Beach, Calif.; Washington, DC; Austin International offices: Dublin; Hamburg; Hong Kong; Hyderabad; London; Madrid; Milan; Paris; Selangor; Singapore; Stockholm; Sydney; Tokyo; Toronto;