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Facebook an online Phenomenon

Autor:   •  September 26, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,698 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,075 Views

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Courtesy of the author. Used with permission.

Facebook.com: An Online Phenomenon

If you were to ask any college student if he or she has heard of Facebook.com, the answer would probability be a yes. Who wouldn't know about Facebook? Defined on the homepage as "an online directory that connects people through social networks at schools," Facebook is currently transforming campus life everywhere. Facebook.com is the place to be, with 4 million users spread across 1,500 different campuses.

Facebook.com was launched to the public on Wednesday, February 4th, 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, Chris Hughes, and Dustin Moskovitz at Harvard College. The name "Facebook" was based on the facebooks—like the freshmen picture book for MIT—that colleges give out to freshmen to ease the transition into college life. In the first couple weeks after its launch, Facebook.com attracted almost half the undergraduates at Harvard College. The site seemed to have the right ingredients to cook up a network that attracted students across the nation. The Facebook phenomenon soon followed. Expanding exponentially, it spread to include all the Ivy League schools and many other colleges, despite competition from similar websites. In a short period of 18 months, the Facebook fever spread to 4 million college students.

Why is Facebook so popular? Why have so many college students chosen Facebook.com over other, similar sites? The answers lie in its features. Facebook.com is set up in 7 sections: My Profile, My Friends, My Groups, My Parties, My Messages, My Account, and My Privacies. With these organized sections, users navigate through the sites to find old and new friends, discover information about other students, join groups, and confirm parties.

To join Facebook, all a person needs is a valid college email address and the rest is free. After confirming their membership, Facebook users start to create their profile which includes their contact, basic and personal information. The profile displays an array of information that includes more than just names, birthdays and gender. Users can upload personal pictures of their choice and share their AIM—an online instant messenger—screen name, phone number and home address. The user's picture often helps students associate a particular face to a name which makes it more personal than just a name. Moreover, the personal information section displays the user's relationship status, dating and political interests, and favorite books, movies, music and quotes. If that wasn't enough information, users could always write more about themselves in the section labeled "About me". Consequently, a plethora of information about the user is shared with other users within Facebook.com. This can be both good and bad. However, users may only view the profiles of the users of their institution and their friends'

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