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On this day in history, February 4, 2004, Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg launches ‘The Facebook’

Facebook is arguably one of the most recognizable names of the 21st century.

The social media site is known as a place to share photos, post on your “wall” and update your friends and family on almost any topic of your choosing.

Mark Zuckerberg, born in White Plains, New York, is best known as a creator of Facebook. His story is one of trial, error and ultimately success — and it is still evolving.

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On this day in history, Feb. 4, 2004, Harvard student Zuckerberg launched what was then known as The Facebook. 

Zuckerberg’s path to Facebook started in 2003 with an online program called Facemash, of which he was primary developer. 

The concept revolved around the idea that students could judge the attractiveness of fellow college students who were using the program, according to Britannica. 

The site was considered initially successful — with 450 students joining right off the bat. 

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Facemash violated a university policy, however — and was shut down after just two days, as Britannica noted. 

Zuckerberg took note of the fast success of Facemash and decided to launch a different site for Harvard students, called The Facebook, in Feb. 2004. 

This intriguing site was different — allowing students to post photos and information about themselves, such as their class schedules, as Britannica recounted. 

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The popularity increased — and the site soon expanded to include students at Yale and Stanford. 

Within the first four months of the site’s going live, more than 250,000 students were on The Facebook — spanning over 34 schools, according to Britannica. 

Facebook

By the end of 2004, The Facebook had over one million users — with Zuckerberg dropping out of Harvard to run the business. 

Continued success came when the platform introduced a tagging feature and unlimited photo uploads — and lowered the sign-up age to 13. 

Facebook was also able to monetize its app early on by allowing companies to buy advertisement space within the site. 

Facebook

Over the years, Facebook — based in Menlo Park, California — has faced backlash for a lack of privacy and for selling users’ data, according to History.com. 

The story of Facebook’s founding and its early and complicated road to success was turned into a movie in 2010 starring actor Jesse Eisenberg and featuring Justin Timberlake — called “The Social Network.” 

Facebook

(At the 83rd Academy Awards, the film received eight nominations, including for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor for Eisenberg — and won for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score and Best Film Editing.)

Zuckerberg’s technology company Facebook, Inc. today owns multiple companies such as Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and more. 

In October 2021, Facebook, Inc. announced that its parent company name would change to Meta Platforms — alluding to a virtual reality experience for users on their platforms, according to Britannica.

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

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