is a social networking website similar to sites like
Friendster, Myspace, and orkut but specifically targeted
at college and university students. The name is based
on the paper facebooks that many colleges give to incoming
students, faculty, and staff depicting members of the
campus community. As of 2005, it has the largest number
of registrants among college networking sites.
site is open not only to students, but to university
faculty and staff as well.
other social networking websites, thefacebook.com allows
users to search for people and select them as "friends,"
but it is targeted towards college students—indeed,
the site attempts to restrict access to its various
facebooks for different institutions by requiring a
validated school e-mail address. The site limits the
ability of students to access information between schools—though
mutual friends from different schools may access each
other's profiles—but Thefacebook offers an interesting
advantage over other friendship websites in that it
allows members to browse through students taking the
same classes, living in the same buildings, or coming
from the same high schools.
may search their local campus or search for friends
in the Facebook's "global" network, which
includes students at all universities on the Facebook.
.com members may also found and join groups. These groups
can be social, academic, or joke groups. Many clubs
and greek fraternities/sororities also create Facebook
groups to easily connect members. Facebook members may
also list parties for their campus. These can be searched
for by others. Facebook parties allow for public or
private parties to be listed and include an RSVP feature.
Facebook allows for members to message each other, which
is a form of e-mail inside of the Facebook interface.
Members may also "poke" each other. This feature
posts a message on the login page saying that you have
been "poked" by another Facebook member.
was founded in February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, then
a sophomore at Harvard College.
the website only allowed Harvard University students
to register. The website spread very quickly across
the Harvard campus. Within a few weeks over half the
undergraduate population had registered.
facebook website was then expanded, first to allow the
registration of students from other Ivy League colleges
and Stanford University. It became something of a network
phenomenon, spreading very quickly, despite some opposition,
including alleged Google bombing, at Columbia University
from CUCommunity.com (http://www.cucommunity.com)(http://www.columbiaspectator.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2004/09/08/413eb595b7657)
the users of CUCommunity.com, later CampusNetwork.com,
claimed that thefacebook was an imitation of their university's
social networking community.
facbookcomwebsite has since expanded to many universities
across the United States and is, as of 2004, in terms
of sheer numbers of registrants, the leading social
network website aimed at college students. In November
2004, the number of registered users exceeded one million.
Some universities caught on to the facebook phenomena
quickly while others took more time. For example, the
University of Florida currently has about half of the
student body registered, while a university comparable
in size, such as the University of South Florida, has
registered about a quarter of its student body.
hosts facebooks for some 650 different colleges and
universities throughout North America and in the British
Isles. Currently, very few non-American universities
are represented (five in Canada, four in the United
Kingdom, and one in Ireland). The operators of the website
have pledged to rectify the issue soon, adding more
universities as time goes by. In April and May 2005,
thefacebook added its first community colleges.
2004, the owners of the website ConnectU.com (http://www.connectu.com)
filed a lawsuit against Thefacebookcom, alleging that
Zuckerberg had stolen source code intended for ConnectU.com
have argued that the face book is not as user-friendly
as other college-networking websites. For example, Thefacebook
has been criticized for not allowing users to view profiles
of people at other colleges who have not already listed
them as a friend. Also, it is not well-suited to blogging
or journal-keeping in the way other similar sites are—its
only blog-like feature is a "wall" on each
user's page that any friend can edit, but with no organization.
Problems with maintenance have been an issue as many
new accounts are made each day causing heavy traffic
for the servers.
Facebook is regularly adding new features, both internal
and external. Wirehog is an external application which
can be incorporated with the Facebook. Wirehog is a
peer-to-peer file sharing program where members may
search for files being shared by their friends and download
them over the internet. As of April, 2005, Wirehog is
under Beta testing and is allowing for new growth by