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Facebook (formerly [thefacebook]) is an online social networking service. Its name comes from a colloquialism for the directory given to students at some American universities. Facebook was founded in 2004. The founders had initially limited the website’s membership to Harvard students, but later expanded it to colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University. It gradually added support for students at various other universities and later to their high-school students. Facebook now allows anyone who claims to be at least 13 years old worldwide to become a registered user of the website, although proof is not required.
Users create a personal profile, add other users as friends, exchange messages, post status updates and photos, and receive notifications when others update their profiles. Additionally, users may join common-interest user groups, organized by workplace, school or college, or other characteristics, and categorize their friends into lists such as “People From Work” or “Close Friends”. Facebook had over one billion active users as of September 2012 (of which approximately 9% were fake). Facebook held its initial public offering in 2012 and reached a peak market capitalization of $104 billion.

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