Mark Zuckerberg is the founder and CEO of Facebook, a social networking site which he started in his college dorm room in 2004 with roommates Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes.
Zuckerberg who was born on May 14, 1984, (coincidentally today is his birthday) is responsible for setting the overall direction and product strategy for Facebook. He leads the design of Facebook’s service and development of its core technology and infrastructure.
From an early age, he has always been a fan of computers. While in high school, he developed a ‘smart’ mp3 player.
After that, Zuckerberg also developed a music recommendation system called Synapse and a peer-to-peer client called Wirehog. However, he abandoned both to pursue new projects, Facebook being his most successful landmark.
Zuckerberg attended Harvard University and studied computer science before establishing Facebook.
While at university, he was reprimanded by the Harvard administration for his Facemash site, a Harvard-specific photo rating site that operated like HotOrNot.com but used photographs taken from Harvard’s online facebook, without the subjects’ permission. (A facebook, lower-case, is a collection of student photographs designed to introduce students to each other.)
In February of 2004, he started ‘The Facebook,’ which took the goals of those lower-case traditional facebooks and combined them with the social networking of Myspace-like sites. Unlike Facemash, The Facebook was opt-in –any Harvard student could create an account, and by the end of the month, more than half of the undergraduates had done so.
Zuckerberg expanded the service quickly, offering it to all Ivy League schools by the end of the spring and more schools the following semester.
The Wirehog site was created as a companion filesharing site for Facebook users, and by the end of 2004, The Facebook had over one million registered users.
The advertising revenue made it easier to raise venture capital, and Zuckerberg and his associates purchased the facebook.com domain from its previous holder and dropped the ‘The’ from the site’s name. Over time, Facebook became more and more inclusive, opening its doors to everyone—all college students, faculty members, and alumni (anyone with a confirmed educational-domain email address), and in 2006 added networks for high school students.
Since fall of 2006, the site has been open to anyone who wishes to join –a shift away from the student-centric origins which many users have decried.
Meanwhile, a Craigslist-like Facebook Marketplace has been added to the site, along with a platform for offering applications. Microsoft purchased a 1.6 percent stake in the company for $240 million in October 2007, and the following month the Facebook Beacon service premiered –a controversial initiative that blends marketing and social networking, which has come under considerable criticism for the way that it can broadcast information about a user’s activity outside of the Facebook site, without adequately warning them.
Zuckerberg moved to Palo Alto to operate Facebook full time, taking a leave of absence from Harvard; the Facebook offices now occupy four downtown buildings.
Zuckerberg won the 2007 Crunchie Award for ‘Best Startup CEO.’ Today at the age of 26 Mark Zuckerberg is the known Founder and CEO, and on the Board Of Directors at Facebook.
Researched by Gloria I. Anyango from Facebook, Marshable, TECHi and FounderBio.