Early interest to coding and making new programs.

Early life

Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is one of the founders of Facebook. He was born on May 14, 1984, and grew up in New York, Dobbs Ferry. He is the only boy in his family. His father, Edward Zuckerberg, worked as a dentist and had his own dental center. His mother, Karen Zuckerberg, was a psychiatrist and worked before being a mother.

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            Mark Zuckerberg studied at the Academy of Phillips Exeter. He showed high results there in different subjects and activities, but he still had interest to coding and making new programs. He became known in developing software and some companies wants him to join them.

 

Early years

Mark got curiosity in programming yet in elementary school. His father taught him ATARI BASIC programming and thanks to him, Mark used this program and created a messenger, which was called “ZuckNet”. When he created this messaging app, he was about 12 and it was considered to be the first and one of the most important success of him. This program connected different computers and let them transfer messages between each other using this app.

Mark is good at not only creating such kind of programs, but also developing games. I watched a film about him, which is called “Social Network” and was made in 2010. In this film, he said that he developed games and gave them to Microsoft free, because he was doing it just for having fun.

In high school, Zuckerberg worked under the Intelligent Media Group to build a music player, which was called Synapse Media Player. The device used machine learning to learn the listening habits of a user who was sent to Slashdot and scored three out of 5 on PC Magazine.

 

College years

In 2002, after graduating Phillips Exeter, Mark Zuckerberg entered Harvard University. His most successful years began at this university, while living in dormitory. I am going to write about how his life was in Harvard and how he created Facebook during study years through the film, which I watched about him.

             At this university, there were many students from different rich families and Mark called them the cream of society. They were joining to various clubs, hobby groups and so on. Mark wanted to make a program to draw their attention to him.

In 2003, once summer evening, after broke up with his girlfriend, Mark was drunk and suffered from insomnia in his dormitory room.  He decided to create a program, in which all pictures of students from different dormitories, at Harvard could be found. According to the film, he asked his friend to tell him the algorithm, which he used before. He hacked the records of Harvard, downloaded all pictures, and using this algorithm, he made a program called FaceMash.

He got a lot of trouble from the admins. This program took two pictures of female students, put them next to each other, and allowed the user to compare them by clicking one of them. During only four hours, almost 450 students clicked to this program and due to exceeding the limit, Harvard server was shutting down. Mark Zuckerberg was accused of computer hacking and for sure, nobody said “Good job!” to him and he received a six months academic distance. Although this was a problem for him, but thanks to this program, Mark had noticed that such kind of things cause a huge interest in society.

 

History of Facebook

After making FaceMash, Mark was already known in Harvard and Divya Narendra, who was co-founder of Harvard Connection, and his two partners, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss decided to work with him in order to create a social network, which for Harvard students. In conversation with Mark, Divya Narendra explained that they wanted to make a program, in which students could share their photos, personal information and some useful links. The only needed thing was to make a program and creating a special code that would let the system work as quickly as possible. After meeting with them, Mark decided to join them and began to work on Harvard Connection. While working on that, he found out a fantastic idea for his own social network.

            In February 2004, Harvard undergraduate Mark Zuckerberg and two of his roommates built Facebook as an alternative to Harvard Directory. It differed from other sites, because initially only Harvard students, who had “.edu” e-mail address, could register. The domain name was TheFacebook.com, now known throughout the world as Facebook.com.

            Mark noticed that people had interest to whom they knew in real life. Facebook let them find each other, communicate online and had fun together. It was something new. “Add me on Facebook” was the most used word in Harvard during first weeks. Within a month of the site’s launch, almost three quarters of Harvard students had registered. “Facebook spread rapidly and by June 2004; it was serving about 30 colleges and more than 150000 users” (“Facebook Stares Down Success,” Fortune Magazine, November 28, 2005).

Problems of Facebook

However, Facebook had many scandals after being famous among people.

Twin brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and their friend – Divya Narendra, who hired Mark during study years in Harvard, blamed Mark Zuckerberg of using their idea of creating a site. As it was shown in the film, they claimed that in 2003, Mark Zuckerberg promised them to help them to complete the social network HarvardConnection.com.  According to them, Zuckerberg did not write answers  to their e-mails and always postponed meetings with them by saying that he was busy and he never worked out the results of their work, but used the original online codes to create his own Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg always said that he had never used the same codes in order to create the Facebook. He explained that he used the main idea, but  improved it and created his own program. However, he did not take even one of the codes which partners gave him.

In the same year, Narendra and the Winklevoss twins started to create their own network, renamed ConnectU. Moreover, they continued to disturb Mark Zuckerberg, by reporting to Harvard administration and The Harvard Crimson newspaper. Initially, Mark Zuckerberg did not realize what would expect and pressed journalists in order not to publish articles on this subject. He showed them all the documents, which were the proof of what he did for HarvardConnection, print out responds, which he wrote them and explained that those developments were not related to Facebook. Nevertheless, very unexpectedly, another Harvard student – John Thomson – in personal talks started saying that Zuckerberg had stolen one of his ideas for Facebook. Subsequently, the newspaper decided to publish these complains, and it offended Mark Zuckerberg very much. All these conversations were shown in the film as well.

Zuckerberg took revenge on The Harvard Crimson. According to Silicon Alley Insider, in 2004, he hacked the mail addresses of two journalists from The Harvard Crimson, using Facebook. He discovered persons, who worked in the newspaper and discovered their data (i.e. history) by using wrong passwords. Zuckerberg’s expectations came true: two employees of the newspaper casually tried to login Facebook with passwords from their e-mails. Silicon Alley Insider noted that Zuckerberg was lucky in this issue. Because he had a chance to read the conversations about him between the editorial office and HarvardConnection.

The Winklevoss twins and Narendra again went to the court against Mark Zuckerberg, but the court rejected their claim. They did not give up and commenced another suit. This time, the court decided to examine the sources of the codes in order to understand that they were actually stolen or not. However, the truth was still not clear and even in the film it was not described. The examination results were not declared. In 2009, Zuckerberg consented to pay $45 million ($20 million in cash, and the remaining amount in Facebook shares) ConnectU in order to close the case. In that instant, less than 100,000 users registered in ConnectU, while Facebook had about 150 million users.

The Winklevoss twins yet did not stay quiet and again took an action in the U.S. Court of Appeals, but they were again refused by the court. According to Jerome Falk, the court had participated in the examination of the settlement agreement and declared that the members of the case did not have any rights for continuing the proceedings. According to the consultant’s opinion, the decision was not legal  because Mark Zuckerberg was wrongly informed about the value of the company in 2008 on this case.

On May 17, 2011, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss filed another lawsuit against the owner of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg to the U.S. Supreme Court. That was the latest attempt by the twins to make the court reconsider the case. However, in the histories as well as in the film there was no information about the ending of the court. However, probably, Mark paid some money for them in order to close the case or he accepted their partnership on Facebook.

Success of Facebook

Registering by many users was unexpected to Mark and his partner, investor as well as friend- Eduardo Saverin. After they noticed that people who registered on Facebook increased day by day, they decided to hire new programmers. One of them was a Mark’s neighbor, Darren Moskowitz, who opened the Facebook service to students at Columbia University, Stanford, and Yale.

            At that point, Mark decided to drop out university and moved to California to pursue Facebook full time. (Cassidy, “Me Media.”)

Around the same time after the IPO, Zuckerberg owned 503.6 million shares. Now Zuckerberg controls nearly 60% of the company’s votes, 35% – Eduardo Saverin, and 5% went to the newcomer Moskowitz. Another friend of Mark, Chris Hughes, was assigned as the Press Attache of Facebook. (Mark Zuckerberg, “Success story of Facebook Founder”, astrumpeople.com)

            Sometime later, the registration was opened to all students. The main thing was the availability of an email address in the .edu zone, which also indicated a person’s belonging to the education sector, without depending on kinds of university. “The site was expanded to more than 800 college networks in the United States” (Facebook, “Company Timeline,” Facebook press room)

It must be said that at first this worked out nicely. The project attracted audience attention. When a user signed up, he had to add detailed information about himself, and in addition to the email address in the .edu zone, it was demanded to add a real profile picture. If people used different pictures instead of real ones, their profiles were deleted.

            Facebook became more popular and grew rapidly, that is why Mark already needed new investors. To finance him, Mark received first investment from Peter Thiel, who was the co-founder of PayPal. He invested 500000 dollars and that amount was sufficient for Facebook purposes. However, Facebook evolved rapidly and for further development of it, more investors were needed.

            In May 2005, Facebook raised another 12.7 million dollars from Accel Partners and Thiel at a rumored 100 million dollars valuation. Eleven month later, the company obtained an additional 27.5 million from Greylock Partners, Meritech Capital Partners, Accel and Thiel at a valuation reported to be about 500 million dollars. (Cassidy, “Me Media.”)

            By 2005, all students had an access to Facebook in all universities and educational institutions of USA. However, Mark realized that not only students, but also all people besides students had interest to this social network. That is why he decided to make an accessible registration for everybody in September 2006, and with that, “Facebook epidemic” started.

           

In 2007, the most essential event happened on Facebook. Microsoft gained 1.6% share in Facebook at an impressive $ 240 million. On this basis, a number of analysts offered that the total income of Facebook made up $15 billion. This was the best result for the company, whose earnings did not overcome $200 million in 12 months. After this agreement, Bill Gates created an account on Facebook. He used to spend several hours a day to communicate through Facebook with people, but after some months he decided to deactivate his account for some time, because there were too many people wants to be in touch with him. Physically, he was not able to write responses to everybody. However, Gates has organized a major PR campaign for Facebook around the world. This is especially important because Microsoft has a special advertising deal with social networking until 2011.

 

Facebook day by day

The main key attribute that Zuckerberg acquired was his creativity. He is a person, who can easily draw conclusions from what he hears. According to the film that I watched, I decided so. Once his friend came to him, and asked about one girl that he liked and did not know she had a boyfriend or not. After that, Mark decided to add “Relationship” part into Facebook. In 2005, Facebook added photo-sharing features, which allowed to all users to share their photos with their friends.

            In 2006, Facebook added News Feed as well, which showed what your friends were doing. For example, if somebody shared a photo or became a friend with another person, or update a status, every friend of him saw this news in his or her main page of Facebook.

            In 2011, Mark added “Facebook Timeline” which showed all information about a person. If somebody wanted to know something about one of his friend, he entered his timeline and saw all activities, which he added to his Facebook.

            When Facebook began to be a part of life, privacy issues were considered more essential. Facebook created tools that allowed users to manage their privacy. Users could limit the visibility of their status updates, photos and personal information. Even they could group their friends and when shared information could choose which group of people would see them. In 2009, Facebook had changed some privacy tools, allowing people to see each other’s photos, status updates, activities and even friend’s list, which was previously private by user. Due to these problems, Facebook did not pay penalty in 2009, but it got warning about penalty of 16000 dollars a day about future offense.

In 2007, Facebook also allowed companies to create their own pages and attract Facebook users “to like” them. After liking a page, users can see the updates, pictures, and videos of company in their News Feed. It helped a company to advertise their products and draw the public attention. In May 201, Facebook created Promoted Posts, in which page owner could pay to push their content to a broader audience. These posts were called “Sponsored” and the original poster could see how many people saw this post.

 

            Acquisitions of Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg is a great entrepreneur who can always choose the best for his company. His strategy is known in all over the world. Instead of being competitor with a company, he prefers to buy it and make it a part of Facebook.

In April 2012, he made Instagram one of the part of Facebook, paying for $1 billion in cash and stock. It was an iOS application and developed by Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom. After acquiring instagram, now the application is available on Android OS as well.

In March 2014, Facebook completed the acquisition of Oculus Rift for $2 billion. Oculus Rift is a virtual reality hardware engineered by Oculus VR Company headed by Palmer Freeman Luckey.

In October 2014, Mark Zuckerberg finished the purchase of WhatsApp for $22 billion. Facebook paid $4.59 billion in cash and 177,760,669 shares in the company. WhatsApp is an instant messaging application founded by Jan Koum and Brian Acton in 2009.

How Facebook Makes Money

In 2013, the turnover of Facebook estimated $7.87 billion and net income was estimated $1.5 billion. The growth rates were also excited: three years income had increased six-fold.

The main earnings of Facebook are gained through sponsored promotions on the pages of the social networking website. The number of users is growing day by day and they spend a lot of time on Facebook, this time which spent on the site is changed into income. 85% percent of  earnings that came to the company last year was earned through this promotions.

There is one widely played game among Facebook users which is caleed Farmville, developed by Zynga. This game is played through Facebook. In order to gain points in Farmville, you need to buy some virtual goods, like vegetables, fruits and so on. This purchasing makes up the rest of the 15% of earnings.

            Although it seems unimportant, but virtual goods is a widely used business, and the Facebook reports approved that. The company calculated that in 2010, the income gained through virtual products reached $7 billion, and by 2014, it was estimated to $15 billion.

At the beginning of January 2013, Facebook began to manage the inbox messages. As everybody knows, Facebook help people to meet new friends. In order to write one person, who you do not know, you should pay 1 dollar. After paying this money, your message will be directly sent to this person’s inbox, instead of other ones. Later, Mark Zuckerberg decided that some people worth more than dollar. For example, if you want to send a message directly to Zuckerberg’s inbox, you should pay $100. This is another way of increasing income.

Advantages of Facebook

Facebook for Networking

Nowadays, Facebook is the widely used social media and almost everybody had already an account in this social networking website. Everybody uses Facebook to be in touch with his or her family, friends, colleagues, and even to meet new people on Facebook.

Furthermore, it’s easy to find people who have the same interests with you by seeing their profiles, and you can easily connect with them using private messages, and video chats.

Indeed, nowadays people use Facebook in order to date with a person, who is considered like-minded with you.

Facebook for Business

Facebook is one of the most famous website and a lot of people from all over the world use this networking site. It allows people to promote their business among different nationalities and make their brand famous among them. Actually, nowadays, we can say that almost every company has Facebook page and it makes them gain a lot of customers or even suppliers from that.

Facebook Video Chatting

Facebook has a partnership with Skype. It allows people to call them via video and see each other without depending on distance. I can give an example from myself as well. I live in Poland and my family lives in Azerbaijan. Last year, unfortunately, whatsapp video calls did not work and I used Facebook in order to be in touch with my family. For sure, it is considered the most essential advantage of Facebook for me.

Facebook for News & Information

As I said nowadays, almost all companies, all television channels or all news portals have a Facebook page. Thanks to them, we may know all news on Facebook without watching TV or checking other websites. One more example from my colleagues and me is that we do not have television in dormitory or in our flats. Even if we had, we would not understand Polish channels. Facebook helps us to follow all news about the world in which language we know.

 

Disadvantages of Facebook

Facebook Privacy

While registering on Facebook, we add our personal information. Nevertheless, we forget one thing that it is online website, and its privacy sometimes does not depend on us. For me, there is one rule: Never rely on online sites and add your detailed information here.

Fake Facebook Profiles

Facebook is full of fake profiles. Everybody can register with different name and surname, using e-mail addresses. It is impossible to identify all these profiles and delete them.

Time-consuming

Nobody can deny Facebook is also a time-wasted app. It offers different interesting games and when you begin to play this game, you do not feel how time passes. On the other hand, in order to be aware of your friends’ activities, you should check Facebook hourly and it does not let you to concentrate to your work. In order to solve this problem, I think, everybody should determine time limit for himself or herself.

 

Personal Life

On May 19, 2012, Zuckerberg married his girlfriend Priscilla Chan in California and currently, they live together in the Palo Alto.

On December 01, 2015, they announced the birth of their first daughter, Maxima Chan Zuckerberg.

On August 28, 2017, Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan announced the birth of their second daughter, August Chan Zuckerberg.

The young couple also promised to donate 99% of Facebook’s shares – worth $ 45 billion – through the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative throughout their lifetime to promote human potential, equity and world development.

 

            References:

1.      “Facebook Stares Down Success.”, FORTUNE Magazine, November 28, 2005

2.      Cassidy, “Me Media.”

3.      Facebook, “Company Timeline,” Facebook Press Room

4.      Mark Zuckerberg, “An Open Letter from Mark Zuckerberg,”  September 2, 2006, post on blog “The Facebook Blog”

5.      “Social Network” film, 2010

6.      “Mark Zuckerberg Biography: Success Story of Facebook Founder and CEO.” Astrum People, (2018). Web. 23 Jan 2018.