History And Origins Of Facebook Computer Science Essay

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Nowadays, social networking services become important services in our daily lives. Social networking services allows user save cost when communication with each other geographically, allow user to share knowledge, and so on. One of the popular social networks services is Facebook.

According to statistic that has been done by January of 2011, there are 600,000,000 people have become Facebook active users. Facebook website started in February 2004, we can visit their website at www.facebook.com which owned by Facebook, Inc and operated privately.

Mark Zurkerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes are founder of Facebook. In the beginning, facebook only available to Harvard's students, however it was expanded to other colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University. Now, it is available for all people who are aged 13 and above with valid email address.

Facebook provide some function such as allow users to create their own profile, update their personal status, upload and share their picture or video, share note, request to add others facebook users as their friends and communication with friends and others through send private message, online instant chat or publish, allow user to create and join interest group and advertise their products, play games and application that provided by facebook. Besides that, Facebook also allowed developers to have chance to developed facebook application and publish it.

Facebook not only using IPv4, it also can support IPv6, this feature allow this social networks services can be use for future technology. Special URL for IPv6 is http://www.v6.facebook.com. Traffic of the Facebook are increasing after 2009, its become the famous and top social network in Asia that is in Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand.

Although Facebook is famous and provide many useful functions, however, it has been banned in several countries, for instance: Iran, People's Republic of China, Uzbekistan, Pakistan Syria, Vietnam and Bangladesh. The reasons of blocking Facebook are contains anti-Islamic contents and also contain religious decriminations.

The others social networking website that we choose to compare with Facebook are Friendster (http://www.friendster.com/), Twitter (http://twitter.com/) and Renren (http://renren.com/).


The main page for the 4 social network websites have its similarities that is, each of them have its registration form to allow users to sign up an account become the active users and also let the active users to login into the system. These 4 social network have a simple and friendly user interface.

For the Facebook, the user interface is mainly design with blue colour and white colour, it is quite simple and elegant. While for user interface of the Friendster, default is green colour and white colour however Frienster a setting that lets user to choose the color of the user interface.

At the main page of Twitter website, we can see the different of the user interface between the others 3 social networks is that, the main page for Twitters display the top tweets that post by people. Tweet is the text-based message that post by the users to share their messages with others people. Tweet is publicly visible to people at default.

The user interface for Renren social network is similar with Facebook. Which is also built up with blue and white colour when we registered as the member of Renren social network website but the users of Renren allow to choose and changes the user interface of Renren once they achieve to certain level in Renren.

Privacy and Security

In term of security, Renren will show the user whether the account security status is secure or insecure and advise user to improve their account security. However, Facebook will provide security information for first time user only. For Twitter, it will display hint beside the password area to show the secure password format when user first register account or when user intends to changes account password. Besides that, we also take a look at password policy for this 4 social network services, for Renren, minimum password length is 8 characters, and minimum password length for Facebook, Friendster, Twitter are 6 characters.

For users who forgot their password, Facebook and Renren will send verification code to their email or SMS (for mobile user). However, twitter.com only provides reset password instruction by email. And friendster.com will send the original password to the email and it is quite incure for user. For reset password policy, Facebook and Renren not allow user to set the same password as previous password other than the twitter.com and friendster.com

Facebook and Renren will trace and store the IP address for every login session but Twitter and Friendster without this. Besides that, for Facebook, when user sign in the account from different computer and different location(different state or country), you will need to provide answer for security question in order to login to the account.

In term of privacy, Facebook and Renren allow user to set their privacy setting (search availability, control shared information, block unwanted person, permission for site application that develop by third party) to avoid their information to be available to unwanted person. In the other hand, twitter.com only allow user to control search availability and shared information.

In Facebook will ask for user permission before facebook application access their information. But Renren and Friendster does not ask for user permission. And Twitter not supports additional application.


For Friendster, compared to Facebook, the feature of the Friendster had its own similarities and differences. Both social network services lets users upload the photo and video, share comment, send messages, view friend updates, created groups and discussions, invite friends play games. Friendster offer their active users create their own blog in Friendster which means friendster has its own blog-builder compared to Facebook, Facebook only allows users share or post the link to their external blog in their profile.

For twitter, the mainly feature that provided by twitter are is micro-blogging services which allows users to write about 140 characters messages call as Tweets which is openly visible at default. Compared to Facebook, Facebook can share their status more that 140 and more character. The Twitter users can choose restricts their message just to their follower only. Twitter can only upload one picture, compared to the Facebook, its can upload as many picture that you want.

Since China had been blocked Facebook, then the China has been developed "The Fcebook of China" that is Renren.com. Renren also provided the general social network function such as manage user profile, add contact information, favorite music/video, and also add the join club. The register users can add friend into their friend list which is also similar to Facebook. Renren have fifteen five level users, the users need to get the pointer to get into the higher level such as logging into system every day to get the point. Each level has its own benefit.


Facebook provided 79 languages to active users around the world. The Language includes

For Friendster its has 11 languages which are Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Malay, English, Thai, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. From here, we can say that Friendster is famous in Asia.

For Twitter, it has 7 languages which are English, Korean, Italian, French, Spanish Japanese and German.

Renren social network only provided 1 language that is Chinese. So, people who do not know Chinese cannot use this social network application.


Of course, when we want to use the social network, first step we need is sign up an account for the social network that we are interest in. The Facebook, Friendster, Twitter, and Renren, all these social network need to sign up first before users can use it and get the benefit from it.

But there are the terms or the conditions when users want to sign up become the registered users. Facebook social network only allows users who are at least 13 years old and older becomes the registered users, while for Friendster social network children are not allow to registered it, its allows users who are at least 16 years old and older become the registered users. For Twitter and and Renren social network, it is open to everyone, both social network do not restrict to age compared to Facebook and Friendster social network.

Summary : Compared with 3 others social network







Privacy and Security


Add friends, update personal status, upload and share picture/ video, play games and application, instant chatting and messaging

Add friends, update personal status, upload picture, blog, play games, instant chatting and messaging, change template.

Popular used in China to replace facebook (because China banned facebook)

Features almost similar with facebook.

Add followers, Micro-blogging, RSS, updates


79 language

11 language

1 language only i.e. Chinese

7 language


Open to people 13 and older

Open to people 16 and older. No children allowed

Open (no restrict age)

Open (no restrict age)