A frenemy; a friend to be cautious of; more and more of a foe; and a fiendish friend.
n It was launched as The Facebook, a privately-owned social networking site, in 2004.
n It was initially restricted to use for Harvard students, but soon opened to other American colleges.
n Following further investment and popularity, the team behind the site dropped ‘The’ from its name.
n In 2007, Facebook’s estimated value sat at around $15 billion, and it was surpassed in popularity only by big-hitters such as eBay, Google and Amazon.
n In 2009, Facebook was getting even more popular and was receiving more visits per week than Google.
n By 2011, Facebook had 600 million users. By the end of the year, it reached 800 million. Its founder is now a multi-billionaire.
n Last month, Facebook prepared to become a public company. Its value is estimated at between $80 and $100 billion.
n The rags to riches story of Facebook formed the basis of the movie ‘The Social Network’ in 2010.
n The social impact of Facebook is a hot debate.
n Friends and families have been reunited across the world because of Facebook, but some argue that it increases anti-social behaviour like bullying, unwanted attention and even stalking.
n Facebook, along with other social media, has also been blamed for relationship and marriage breakdown. There are claims that some users lie about being in a relationship or use the site to find old flames.
n The cultural impact of Facebook is growing. The word “unfriend”, the act of removing a person from a friendship list, has made the dictionary and, in 2011, the world welcomed babies called ‘Facebook’ and ‘Like’.
n A recent survey claimed a quarter of employers had changed their mind about hiring a candidate after viewing their Facebook page.