DemDaily: Facebook Explained

April 10, 2018

Over the next two days Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will appear before Congress to answer questions about his company's use and protection of user data.

The bipartisan call to testify was prompted by Facebook's role in the Russia-Trump campaign interference investigation, and how 87 million users' data ended up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica, the company that masterminded the data-sharing scheme.

In anticipation of our wrap up tomorrow on the highlights of the hearings, here is a little background on the world's largest social media platform --

"Facebook is an Idealistic and optimistic company. For most of our existance we focused on all the good that connecting people can do; and as facebook has grown, people everywhere have gotten a powerful new tool for staying connected to the people they love, for making their voices heard, and for building communities and businesses." 

 - Facebook Founder, Chair and CEO Mark Zuckerberg before the US Senate Tuesday, 4/10

Founders:  Mark Zuckerberg, then 19, along with fellow Harvard College students and roommates
Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes

Launched:   February 4, 2004.  Initially limited to Harvard students, it expanded to other universities, then high schools. As of 2006, anyone age 13+ years old may open a facebook page.

Milestone:  June 2009.  Facebook surpasses MySpace to become the #1 social network in the United States, with 70.278 million unique visitors.

Initial Public Offering (IPO):  February, 2012.  The company, @share price US $38, was valued at $104 billion - the largest valuation to date for a newly listed public company.

Registered Users:  2.13 billion. 2 billion daily users.
According to SproutSocial, user ages breakdown as:
-  88% of those 18-29
- 84% of those 30-49
- 72% for those 50-64
- 62% for those 65+

According to a January, Pew Research survey:
- Facebook is popular among all demographic groups
- 2/3 of US adults (68%) use facebook
- 74% of women and 62% of men
- 81% of 18-29 year-olds use Facebook compared to 41% of those 65+
- 74% of all users visit Facebook at least once a day, compared to
Snapchat @63% and Instagram @60%
- 45% of all US adults get their news from Facebook, compared to YouTube (18%), Twitter (11%), Instagram (7%), Snapchat (5%) and LinkedIn (5%)

The Social Network, the 2010, fictional movie about the start of Facebook, won 3 Oscars and 4 Golden Globes

Geography:  Worldwide. Blocked in North Korea and China
Annual Revenue:   $40 Billion (predominantly advertising)
Estimated Worth:  $500 Billion
Employees #:    25,105 employees at Facebook (12/31/17)
Headquarters:  Menlo Park, California.

Facebook Owns: Jibbigo, Atlas Solutions, Onavo, PrivateCore, Face.com, FriendFeed, Messenger, Instagram, Oculus VR and WhatsApp.

How It Works
Pages:  Once registered, users can create a customized profile and page on facebook with their name, occupation, contact info, education, interests, relationship status and other categories. You can also create a Facebook page for your business, place, company, organisation, brand, product or fans!

Friends: Users can add or "connect" other users to your page as "friends", exchange messages, post status updates, share photos, videos and links, use various software applications (apps), and receive notifications of other users' activity.

Groups: Additionally, users may join common-interest user groups organized by workplace, school, hobbies or other individual groups based on shared experiences.

Advertising:  93% of marketers use Facebook advertising regularly, which translates to about 3 million businesses - 70% of which are outside the US.

On Tuesday @2:15pm Zuckerberg appeared before a joint session of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.
On Wednesday he will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee at 10:00am ET.

DemList will keep you informed!

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Kimberly Scott
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Sources: The Verge, CNN, Pew Research, PCWorld, Wikipedia, StashLearn, SproutSocial

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