Facebook was launched on February 4, 2004 when Thefacebook.com went live. Its home screen read, says David Kirkpatrick in The Facebook Effect, “Thefacebook is an online directory that connects people though social networks at colleges.” Zuckerberg’s classmate Andrew McCollum designed a logo using an image of Al Pacino he’s found online that he covered with a fog of ones and zeros.
Four days after the launch, more than 650 students had registered and by the end of May, it was operating in 34 schools and had almost 100,000 users. “The nature of the site,” Zuckerberg told the Harvard Crimson on February 9, “is such that each user’s experience improves if they can get their friends to join in.”
In the fourth quarter of 2016, Facebook’s revenues grew 51% to $8.81 billion and its profit rose to $3.57 billion from $1.56 billion a year earlier. In 2016, Facebook added nearly 270 million users, bringing its monthly user base to 1.86 billion. That’s the strongest increase in the number of users since Facebook went public in 2012. Most of the growth in users came from outside the U.S.