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Facebook f logo.png
Mobile sitem.facebook.com
Desktop AppWindows
iOS AppApp Store
Android AppPlay Store
Private launchFebruary 4, 2004
Public launchSeptember 26, 2006
Profit modelAds, User Data

Facebook is an online social media and social network service run by Facebook, Inc, an American for-profit company. As of December 2018 it is the most popular such service in the world by a wide margin.

Sites and Apps

Facebook can be accessed with a web browser via their website or mobile site. The company also publishes a desktop app and various mobile apps. While there are a small number of third-party apps, the service is intentionally and primarily proprietary, with access to a small subset of functionality via an API.


Posts and Privacy

The primary mode of interaction begins with registered users writing short form plain text posts. These posts have an associated privacy setting that can be public, friends only, or custom, with optional block lists configured by the user or per-post, with the default privacy level remembered from the previous post. Posts are visible on the user's wall to anyone matching the post's privacy setting. Posts also possibly appear in other users' news feed depending on those users' feed settings and either Facebook's proprietary "top stories" algorithm or chronologically sorted.

The above mechanics also apply when making posts that include, or are comprised solely of, one or more images, a video, or a link to content on or off Facebook.

Comments and Replies

Any kind of post can be commented on by any user who can see the post. These comments can have one level of replies.


Photo Tagging




Long form posts with rich text formatting and inline images.




Photo Albums

Organize photo posts into named albums

Games and Apps


Charity Drives

Ask friends to donate money to charity for your birthday or otherwise.

Virtual Gifts

Prior to 2010, and again in 2017 on their App Center platform, Facebook allowed users to pay $1 to send a virtual "gift" comprised of an image or animation and some text.


See Facebook Messenger.


Prior to 2010 Facebook had long form messaging with subject lines and separate threads, similar to Email, and a completely separate chat function for realtime short form messaging.