On February 04, 2004, a sophomore psychology major named Mark Zuckerberg launched “The Facebook” from his college dormitory. This launch wasn’t his first foray into the development of a social networking website. Zuckerberg, an avid computer programmer, had already developed two other websites, CourseMatch and FaceMash. CourseMatch allowed students to find other students with the same degree. FaceMash, on the other hand, was not academically focused. Instead, FaceMash allowed its users to rate other people’s attractiveness.

Unlike CourseMatch and FaceMash, The Facebook was a hit. Within 24 hours of its launch, over 1, 200 Harvard coeds had joined and created profiles. Within a month, over half of the undergraduate student body was a member of The Facebook. In a year, The Facebook had expanded to other Ivy League colleges and universities throughout the United States. In 2005 the website dropped “The” from its name and simply became known as Facebook — its current iteration.

Although Mark Zuckerberg receives much of the recognition for Facebook, the website was co-founded by Zuckerberg and his college roommates: Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes. In February 2021, Facebook filed as a public company with an initial market value of $102.4 billion. In October 2021, Facebook changed the name of its parent company to Meta Platforms in an effort to focus on initiating a virtual reality environment. In 2021, Facebook remained the largest and most influential social networking and media site, with 2.6 billion active monthly users.