What is Facebook?

facebook logoFacebook Quick Facts:

  • Facebook is the largest social networking site on the planet

  • 845 million monthly active users as of December 2011

  • 80% of our monthly active users are outside the U.S. and Canada

  • 483 million daily active users on average as of December 2011

  • 425 million monthly active users as of December 2011

  • Facebook is available in more than 70 languages

What is Facebook?

Facebook is a massive free social networking site used by people all over the world. Facebook's mission, according to its “about us” page, is to “give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”

How does Facebook work?

People sign up for Facebook with their email address, name, gender, and date of birth. They can also upload a photo of themselves. Once registered, they can send and receive requests for other Facebook users to add them as a “friend.”

What can you do with Facebook?

Facebook friends can read and comment on each others' posts, which are located in an area of their profile called their Wall. The Wall is where nearly everything happens. Users post text, photos, videos, and links about what they're doing and what interests them.

Friends can also chat or video chat with one another, or organize groups of friends into networks.

Users can choose to highlight events from their Wall and organize them into a “timeline” to tell their life story. They can also install thousands of third-party applications, called “apps,” which allow them to play games, follow news and popular culture, and further interact with others.

Privacy and Safety on Facebook:

Facebook's default privacy settings are minimal, but users can manually control who can see each post – as well as who can see their profile information.

The minimum age for opening a Facebook account is 13, but underage individuals can create an account if they claim to be older.

Update (September 2011):

Facebook has launched "Timeline"as a new kind of Facebook profile that lets users organize and highlight the content and activities that matter most to them. Users can choose the information they want to share on their timeline and can also control who sees each piece of content. Facebook is expected to convert all profiles to the timeline layout within the calendar year.

Update (June 2012):

After a struggling IPO, Facebook Inc has been exploring options to allow users under the age to 13 the ability to create an account which would be directly linked to a parents profile. 

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