Social network Facebook was launched in February 2004. Its founders were graduate students at Harvard University. Originally the site was positioned as an alternative to the standard directory of students, but soon Facebook has become a tool to link together all the student community in the U.S. The site has become both a means of communication and dialogue, and an interactive guide to all university students.
Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook at the beginning of 2004, and initially the resource was called thefacebook.com. Once the project was ready to be launched, the developers sent letters to all owners of e-mails from Harvard University. The authority of Facebook among students seriously raised the fact that the site was created by the same students: Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskowitz and Chris Hughes. While at the beginning the social network was able to attract users from Boston, but soon from all of the Ivy League, which includes the most privileged educational institutions of the United States. And from September 2006 the site is available to all internet users under the age of 13 years with an email address. Facebook was quickly gaining popularity among students and other users, so that soon it has become the largest network with a huge attendance (more than 15 million unique visitors each month).
Facebook started its development in the investors’ money, and the first investor became Peter Thiel, the founder of the well-known electronic payment system PayPal. Mark Zuckerberg managed the venture capital of the company, and in spring 2005 there was the first stage of the venture financing of the project, and already at that time the founders of startups evaluated Facebook up to $ 85 million. It is worth noting that at that time the resource brought the owners only 500 000 dollars per month. Such a high value of the social network was to the simultaneous attraction of both investors and customers. Thus, having got a deal on $ 85 million, the founders were able to attract much more funding from venture capital funds and private investors. ( Ante 2008)
October 24, 2007 Microsoft announced the acquisition of 1.6% stake in Facebook for $ 240 million, thereby evaluating the entire company at $ 15 billion. In November 2010, based on data of SecondMarket Inc, the company’s value reached $ 41 billion. Thus, Facebook has become the third largest Internet company in the U.S. (after Google and Amazon). On January 2011 Facebook reached a value of $ 50 billion. (Womack 2010)