Mark Zuckerberg is someone we all know as the founder of Facebook. However, there are many things we don’t know about the man at Harvard who started a social networking site only for his college which expanded and went on to become the world’s leading social network site.
Mark Zuckerberg became fascinated with computers at the tender age of 10. He built a network which connected his home computer to his father’s office computer. At the age of 11, he started receiving formal training and created Zucknet which was a type of network. Later, he started converting his friends’ drawings into computer games. He earned a diploma in Literature classics from Phillips Exeter Academy but turned back to his first love, computers. In high school, he created a version of the music software Pandora, which he called Synapse. Several companies—including AOL and Microsoft wanted to buy the software and hire the teenager before graduation. He declined the offers.
Harvard and birth of Facebook:
After graduating from Exeter, Zuckerberg enrolled into Harvard and this is when most of his projects came to life. He developed Coursematch, which helped students to decide what courses they wanted to enrol in based on who else was taking this course and other factors. He also came up with the idea of Facemash, which compared the pictures of two students on campus and allowed users to vote on which one was more attractive. This program gained massive popularity in Harvard but had to be shut down because the authorities didn’t find the idea too appropriate.
The next idea that he developed on would be the one that changed how people networked socially through the internet.
Based on the buzz of his previous projects, three of his fellow students Divya Narendra, and twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss aksed him to help them to work on an idea for a social networking site they called Harvard Connection. This site was designed to use information from Harvard’s student networks in order to create a dating site for the Harvard elite. Zuckerberg soon dropped out and started his own venture. He created a site that allowed users to create their own profiles, upload photos, and communicate with other users. The Facebook was run out of a dorm room until Zuckerberg dropped out to devote all his time to Facebook.
However, all wasn’t fine in paradise and Zuckerberg was soon accused of cheating the Winklevoss twins and Narendra’s idea and ConnectU’s secure code. This law suit was settled as the three received a hefty sum of $65 million.
Facebook and its growth:
In a very short span, Facebook grew beyond the education sector and Mark Zuckerberg started looking for investors. Peter Thiel, the founder of PayPal invested $500,000, and the amount was sufficient for immediate Facebook purposes. The project began to evolve rapidly. In less than a year after it was founded more than 1 million people joined the social network.
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For further development of Facebook, Zuckerberg needed more investments. Accel Partners invested in Facebook $12.7 million and then Greylock Partners added to this amount $27.5 million. He still believes Facebook should be open to only students, hence, promoted it that way only. It was a unique concept that attracted other people as well because it was a very new and unique thing to meet people virtually.
In 2007, something astonishing happened. Microsoft paid $240 million for a 1.6% stake in the company. After the deal, Bill Gates created an account on Facebook. He used it to communicate with people who wanted to chat with him. However, he had to shut it down because there were too many people who wanted to chat with Gates. This helped Facebook gain massive popularity because the richest man on the planet was on Facebook.
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How does Facebook earn revenue?
85% of revenue earned by Facebook is through contextual ads. The most of the rest 15% are deductions from purchases made through the Facebook payment system. These are mostly not real, but virtual goods. For example seeds, fruits and vegetables, purchased by fans of the popular game Farmville developed by Zynga.
Virtual business is serious and the turnover increased manifold from $7 bn to $15 bn in 2014.
Facebook owner and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, acquired photo sharing app, Instagram in 2012 for $1bn. He also purchased Oculus Rift for $2 bn in March 2014. In October 2014, Mark Zuckerberg completed the purchase of WhatsApp for $22 billion.
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