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Facebook 'light my fire'

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Facebook 'light my fire'


Palo Alto, California, has been Facebook’s home base since June 2004. It was conceived on the other side of the country, at Harvard University, originally aimed at the students there, then at everyone in 2006.

Greenpeace has a video campaign running which tells the story of how Facebook came to be, talking about friends and bullying and… green energy, admonishing the creator for not using this option. The ecologists brand the Internet whizz a ‘wicked coal-burner’.

Mark Zuckerberg is now 27, with an estimated fortune of 17 billion euros or so. Innovation success like this got him named ‘Man of the Year’ for 2010 by Time magazine.

Analyst Anupam Palit said: “When you think about Facebook, in a lot of ways we are talking about the social media space and this sector, Facebook really defines the opportunity around this. We weren’t really talking about social media before Facebook came along.”

The increase in Facebook faithful has been exponential since 2006. Today the social network has some 800 million users. Most are in North America, though the Europeans aren’t that far behind. But its the numbers in Asia recently that have been rising more rapidly. The 13-35 age range is where you’ll find the greatest portion of fans. This pie chart shows percentages.

Facebook is active in 78 languages. Specialists say this is one of its keys to success, along with how easy it is to use, and that the company keeps driving its evolution along.

Lance Ulanoff, at Mashable, an American news website and Internet blog, said: “Facebook is consistently growing because it’s consistently innovating. These are innovations that really transform Facebook from this meeting place to something much more. That is a big part of how they maintain the momentum.”

Late last year, the company launched a new design of what it calls an interface, “Timeline”, then suggesting this is to be mandatory and permanent for all users.

Hard-core individualists’ ears may also twitch when they hear lyrics sung in the movie based on Zuckerberg’s creation, ‘The Social Network’… Well, who doesn’t “want control and a perfect body and soul”?

Of course, there is far more to it.

Every story can be told in many ways: see the perspectives from Euronews journalists in our other language teams.

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