In 2003, a sophomore at Harvard University named Mark Zuckerberg, hacked into protected areas of the university's computer network in order to find photos of other students. He then would pair two of them next to each other on a program called “Facemash” and ask users to choose the more attractive person. At the beginning of 2004, Zuckerberg launched “The Facebook,” a social network dedicated to Harvard students, which later grew to encompass Columbia, Yale and Stanford. The popularity of this new service sky-rocketed and in mid-2004, Zuckerberg interrupted his studies and moved his operation to Palo Alto, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley. By 2006, Facebook was open to the general public and started slowly having an impact. In 2016, the company reported almost 27.6 billion U.S. dollars in revenue and a net income of 10.2 billion US dollars. It is also the most popular social network in the world, with 1.86 billion monthly active users, as of the fourth quarter of 2016.
As of 2016, the number of Facebook employees has reached 17 thousand full-time staff, and has gained a notoriety as one of the most popular companies to work for, due to perks ranging from dental insurance and paternity leave to free snacks and a gym membership. In fact, according to the company-review site Glassdoor, as of February, 2016, 92 percent of Facebook employees would recommend the company to a friend. However, like many other tech companies, such as Google, Facebook has also been criticized for having a diversity problem. As of May 2016, tech positions, as well as management potions in U.S. offices are occupied mostly by men. Furthermore, over 50 percent of the U.S. Facebook employees are White and only 3 percent are African-American, which does not fairly represent American population. Seventy-one percent of senior level positions are occupied by White employees and only 3 percent by Hispanic-Americans.
Apart from the company’s headquarters at 1 Hacker Way in Menlo Park, California, Facebook has offices across the United States from Atlanta to Dallas and from Los Angeles to New York. International offices include Berlin, Sao Paulo, Tel Aviv, Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne and Vancouver.