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Main articles: History of Facebook and Timeline of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg wrote Facemash, the predecessor to Facebook, on October

28, 2003 , while attending Harvard as a sophomore. According to The Harvard Crimson, the site was comparable to Hot or Not, and "used photos compiled from the online fac ebooks of nine houses, placing two next to each other at a time and asking users to choose the 'hotter' person"[17][18] Mark Zuckerberg co-created Facebook in his Harvard dorm room. To accomplish this, Zuckerberg hacked into the protected areas of Harvard's comp uter network and copied the houses' private dormitory ID images. Harvard at that time did not have a student "facebook" (a directory with photos and basic infor mation), though individual houses had been issuing their own paper facebooks sin ce the mid-1980s. Facemash attracted 450 visitors and 22,000 photo-views in its first four hours online.[17][19] The site was quickly forwarded to several campus group list-servers, but was shu t down a few days later by the Harvard administration. Zuckerberg was charged by the administration with breach of security, violating copyrights, and violating individual privacy, and faced expulsion. Ultimately, the charges were dropped.[ 20] Zuckerberg expanded on this initial project that semester by creating a soci al study tool ahead of an art history final, by uploading 500 Augustan images to a website, with one image per page along with a comment section.[19] He opened the site up to his classmates, and people started sharing their notes. The following semester, Zuckerberg began writing code for a new website in Janua ry 2004. He was inspired, he said, by an editorial in The Harvard Crimson about the Facemash incident.[21] On February 4, 2004, Zuckerberg launched "Thefacebook ", originally located at[22] Six days after the site launched, three Harvard seniors, Cameron Winklevoss, Tyl er Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra, accused Zuckerberg of intentionally misleadin g them into believing he would help them build a social network called HarvardCo, while he was instead using their ideas to build a competing produc t.[23] The three complained to the Harvard Crimson, and the newspaper began an i nvestigation. The three later filed a lawsuit against Zuckerberg, subsequently s ettling.[24] Membership was initially restricted to students of Harvard College, and within t he first month, more than half the undergraduate population at Harvard was regis tered on the service.[25] Eduardo Saverin (business aspects), Dustin Moskovitz ( programmer), Andrew McCollum (graphic artist), and Chris Hughes soon joined Zuck erberg to help promote the website. In March 2004, Facebook expanded to Stanford , Columbia, and Yale.[26] It soon opened to the other Ivy League schools, Boston University, New York University, MIT, and gradually most universities in Canada and the United States.[27][28] Facebook was incorporated in mid-2004, and the entrepreneur Sean Parker, who had been informally advising Zuckerberg, became the company's president.[29] In Jun e 2004, Facebook moved its base of operations to Palo Alto, California.[26] It r eceived its first investment later that month from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel .[30] The company dropped The from its name after purchasing the domain name fac in 2005 for $200,000.[31] Total active users[N 1] Date Users (in millions) Days later Monthly growth[N 2] August 26, 2008 100[32] 1,665 178.38% April 8, 2009 200[33] 225 13.33% September 15, 2009 300[34] 160 9.38% February 5, 2010 400[35] 143 6.99% July 21, 2010 500[36] 166 4.52% January 5, 2011 600[37][N 3] 168 3.57% May 30, 2011 700[38] 145 3.45% September 22, 2011 800[39] 115 3.73% April 24, 2012 900[40] 215 1.74%

October 4, 2012 1,000[41] 163 2.04% Facebook launched a high-school version in September 2005, which Zuckerberg call ed the next logical step.[42] At that time, high-school networks required an inv itation to join.[43] Facebook later expanded membership eligibility to employees of several companies, including Apple Inc. and Microsoft.[44] Facebook was then opened on September 26, 2006, to everyone of age 13 and older with a valid emai l address.[45][46] On October 24, 2007, Microsoft announced that it had purchased a 1.6% share of F acebook for $240 million, giving Facebook a total implied value of around $15 bi llion.[47] Microsoft's purchase included rights to place international ads on Fa cebook.[48] In October 2008, Facebook announced that it would set up its interna tional headquarters in Dublin, Ireland.[49] In September 2009, Facebook said tha t it had turned cash-flow positive for the first time.[50] In November 2010, bas ed on SecondMarket Inc., an exchange for shares of privately held companies, Fac ebook's value was $41 billion (slightly surpassing eBay's) and it became the thi rd largest U.S. Web company after Google and Amazon.[51] Traffic to Facebook increased steadily after 2009. More people visited Facebook than Google for the week ending March 13, 2010.[52] In March 2011 it was reported that Facebook removes approximately 20,000 profile s from the site every day for various infractions, including spam, inappropriate content and underage use, as part of its efforts to boost cyber security.[53] In early 2011, Facebook announced plans to move to its new headquarters, the for mer Sun Microsystems campus in Menlo Park, California.[54][55] Release of statistics by DoubleClick showed that Facebook reached one trillion p ageviews in the month of June 2011, making it the most visited website in the wo rld.[56] It should, however, be noted that Google and some of its selected websi tes are not counted in the DoubleClick rankings. According to the Nielsen Media Research study, released in December 2011, Facebo ok is the second most accessed website in the US.[57] In March 2012, Facebook announced App Center, an online mobile store which sells applications that connect to Facebook. The store will be available to iPhone, A ndroid and mobile web users.[58] Facebook, Inc. held an initial public offering on May 17, 2012, negotiating a sh are price of $38 apiece, valuing the company at $104 billion, the largest valuat ion to date for a newly listed public company.[59] On July 2012, Facebook added a gay marriage icon to its timeline feature.[60] On August 23rd, 2012 Facebook released the much anticipated update to its iOS ap p, version 5.0. The app, which did not receive positive sentiments from its user s, was rebuilt from the ground up; the app no longer uses page views which made it slow in the past but now utilizes code that uses native elements of iOS.[61] In October 2012 Facebook acquired the site and team of Carsabi.[62]