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Facebook (stylized as facebook) is a for-profit corporation and online social networking service based in Menlo Park, California, United States.

On July 13, 2015, Facebook became the fastest company in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index to reach a market cap of $250 billion.

Zuckerberg wrote a program called "Facemash" on October 28, 2003 while attending Harvard University as a sophomore (second year student).

According to The Harvard Crimson, the site was comparable to Hot or Not and used "photos compiled from the online facebooks of nine houses, placing two next to each other at a time and asking users to choose the 'hotter' person".

To accomplish this, Zuckerberg hacked into protected areas of Harvard's computer network and copied private dormitory ID images.

Harvard did not have a student "face book" (a directory with photos and basic information) at the time, although individual houses had been issuing their own paper facebooks since the mid-1980s, and Harvard's longtime Freshman Yearbook was colloquially referred to as the "Freshman Facebook".

Facemash attracted 450 visitors and 22,000 photo-views in its first four hours online.

The site was quickly forwarded to several campus group list-servers, but was shut down a few days later by the Harvard administration.

Since 2006, anyone age 13 and older has been allowed to become a registered user of Facebook, though variations exist in the minimum age requirement, depending on applicable local laws.

After registering to use the site, users can create a user profile, add other users as "friends", exchange messages, post status updates and photos, share videos, use various applications (apps), and receive notifications when others update their profiles.

Additionally, users may join common-interest user groups organized by workplace, school, or other topics, and categorize their friends into lists such as "People From Work" or "Close Friends". Additionally, users can complain about or block unpleasant people.

Because of the large volume of data that users submit to the service, Facebook has come under scrutiny for its privacy policies. held its initial public offering (IPO) in February 2012, and began selling stock to the public three months later, reaching an original peak market capitalization of 4 billion.

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