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The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

  • Category: Pics  |
  • 20 Sep, 2016  |
  • Views: 4137  |
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Facebook is the most popular social network in the entire world, but Facebook's success didn't come overnight. Here's the story of how Facebook took over the internet.

Facebook got its start at Harvard's Kirkland House dormitory — the same dorm that Wallace Shawn (who played Vizzini in "The Princess Bride" and the voice of "Toy Story's" Rex) lived in during his Harvard years.

1 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

In 2003, Harvard sophomore Mark Zuckerberg would build a program called "Face mash." It was a Hot or Not-style app using the pictures of his classmates that he hacked from the school administration's dormitory ID files. It got 22,000 page views from 450 people in the first four hours it was up. A few days later, Harvard ordered it to be taken down, citing copyright and security concerns.


2 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

Zuckerberg faced disciplinary action from Harvard but was allowed to stay at the school. Undeterred, he launched "TheFacebook" on February 4, 2004.


3 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

Six days after the launch, three Harvard seniors — twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and Divya Narendra — claimed that they had reached an agreement with Zuckerberg where he would create a website called HarvardConnection.com for them, but they alleged he abandoned them and used their ideas to create Facebook.


4 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

They'd go on to file a lawsuit that was only settled in 2008, when they were given 1.2 million Facebook shares in a settlement. Those shares would be worth $300 million when Facebook had its IPO.
Within a month, half of Harvard's students were members of Thefacebook. By March 2004, it had expanded to Yale, Columbia, and Stanford universities. Zuckerberg brought in fellow Harvard students Dustin Moskovitz, left, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, and Chris Hughes as cofounders to help manage that growth and keep building the site into a business.


5 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

Facebook's first ad-sales pitch deck came out just a few months after the launch, and showed the site's amazing early growth — and its limited functionality.



6 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

At this point, Facebook was still run out of his dorm room, but it was time to get serious. Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard in 2004, much like Bill Gates before him.


7 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

In mid-2004, Zuckerberg hired Napster cofounder Sean Parker as the company's first president.


8 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

Around the same time, in June 2004, Facebook moved to Palo Alto, California, into a tiny office downtown. Back then, the company was known for being as much a party hub as it was a serious startup.


9 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

These images were taken from "Now Entering: a Millennial Generation," a 2008 documentary.
That office, right in downtown Palo Alto, was incredibly unassuming. See that glass door, No. 471? That led to a set of stairs that would take you up to the space. I briefly worked for a company that would use the same office space, years later. There's a good sushi place around the corner.


10 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

These images were taken from "Now Entering: a Millennial Generation," a 2008 documentary.
That office, right in downtown Palo Alto, was incredibly unassuming. See that glass door, No. 471? That led to a set of stairs that would take you up to the space. I briefly worked for a company that would use the same office space, years later. There's a good sushi place around the corner.


11 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

No, seriously, they loved beer. Here's Andrew McCollum with a lady friend while a Facebook employee gets beer from the office keg.


12 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

That office was also well-known for having risqué graffiti art on its walls.


13 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

The same month it moved into these offices, Facebook got its first outside funding in the form of a $500,000 investment from famed ex-PayPal executive Peter Thiel, left, with fellow PayPal exec and later Tesla founder Elon Musk.


14 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

By this point, Facebook was starting its rapid ascent toward cultural superstardom. In May 2005, Facebook raised $13.7 million in funding. In 2006, Facebook created its iconic and breakthrough News Feed, which gave people a real-time stream of what their friends were doing.


15 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

In late 2007, Zuckerberg met a Google executive named Sheryl Sandberg at a Christmas party. At the time, she was considering taking a new position with The Washington Post. But after meeting Sandberg, Zuckerberg decided that Facebook needed a chief operating officer, and managed to convince her to come aboard in early 2008.


16 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

It was a prescient hire. Facebook was already growing quickly, but the rise of the smartphone brought with it a lot more users. In 2009, Facebook moved into a slightly larger Palo Alto office in the Stanford Research Park, amid explosive growth. By late 2010, it hit a trillion page views a month.


17 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

That space wouldn't hold Facebook for long. In 2011, the social network moved into a corporate campus once occupied by Sun Microsystems, which had fallen from grace and been acquired by Oracle.


18 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

Facebook even established the main thoroughfare of the campus as "Hacker Way," referring to Zuckerberg's famous philosophy of the same name: "Move Fast and Break Things."


19 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

Facebook had also established itself as a major political power at this point. That was perhaps most prominent in February 2011's Egyptian uprising, which was largely organized via social-networking sites like Facebook.


20 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

On the flip side, Zuckerberg himself has only gotten more involved in politics over the years, and has spoken to world leaders in support of spreading internet access all over the globe.


21 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

Facebook has also long been a proponent of marriage equality and equal rights.


22 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

The social network became unstoppable. Facebook had its historic $5 billion initial public offering May 18, 2012.


23 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

Starting that same year, in 2012, Facebook employees were given the legendary "Little Red Book," a book of propaganda-like slogans to make sure that the growing company's employees were all on the same page.


24 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

The day after the IPO, Zuckerberg somehow found the time to marry his long-time girlfriend Priscilla Chan, whom he met while still a Harvard student.


25 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

Facebook is always on the lookout for the next startup that threatens to disrupt it. So the company has snapped up a bunch of hot startups along the way, including photo-sharing service Instagram, which it bought for $1 billion in 2012 and now has more than 400 million users; ...


26 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

... early-stage virtual-reality company Oculus, which Facebook bought in March 2014 for $2 billion; ...


27 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

... and mobile-messaging company WhatsApp, which Facebook paid a whopping $19 billion for in February 2014. Its cofounder, Jan Koum, is now a Facebook board member and the service now has more than 1 billion monthly users.


28 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

By the time Facebook turned 10 on February 3, 2014, over 1.23 billion people were visiting the social network every month — a billion of them on their mobile devices. The world had changed, but Facebook just kept growing.


29 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

To support all that growth, Facebook had to expand its offices. Just this year, Facebook opened a new campus, designed by legendary architect Frank Gehry, to support over 2,800 employees.


30 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

Whatever happens next, the company remains powered by Zuckerberg's mission to connect everybody in the world. As he put it in a letter to investors in Facebook's IPO filing, "Simply put: we don't build services to make money; we make money to build better services."


31 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

In December 2015, Zuckerberg announced the formation of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a limited-liability corporation that will receive 99% of his wealth and reinvest it in world-changing causes.


32 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)

But even with all of his wealth redistributed to charitable causes, Zuckerberg is keeping his iron grip on the company, thanks to a stock scheme that keeps him in control no matter what else happens to the company. So he's not losing control of the company he founded out of a Harvard dorm room any time soon.


33 The Story Of How Facebook Went From A Dorm Room To The Top Of The World (33 pics)


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