What is Facebook?
Facebook is a social networking site that makes it easy for you to connect and share with your family and friends online. Originally designed for college students, Facebook was created in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg while he was enrolled at Harvard University. By 2006, anyone over the age of 13 with a valid email address could join Facebook. Today, Facebook is the world's largest social network, with more than 1 billion users worldwide.
Have you ever wondered why people like using Facebook? After all, there are already a lot of other ways to communicate online, such as email, instant messaging, and so on. What makes Facebook unique is the ability to connect and share with the people you care about at the same time.
For many, having a Facebook account is now an expected part of being online, much like having your own email address. And because Facebook is so popular, other websites have worked to integrate Facebook. This means you can use a single Facebook account to sign in to different services across the Web.
Click the arrows in the slideshow below to see examples of the different ways you can use Facebook.
Facebook allows you to send messages and post status updates to keep in touch with your friends and family. You can also share different types of content, like photos and links. But sharing something on Facebook is a bit different from other types of online communication. Unlike email or instant messaging, which are relatively private, the things you share on Facebook are more public, which means they'll usually be seen by many other people.
While Facebook offers privacy tools to help you limit who can see the things you share, it's important to understand that Facebook is designed to be more open and social than traditional communication tools. We'll talk more about sharing and controlling your privacy in our lessons on Understanding Facebook Privacy and Adjusting Your Privacy Settings.