Wild article from May, 2007 issue of Fast Company on how Facebook originated and where it might be going.
Thefacebook.com, as it was originally called, launched on February 4, 2004. Within two weeks, half the Harvard student body had signed up. Before long, it was up to two-thirds. Zuckerberg's roommates, Moskovitz and Chris Hughes, joined in, helping to add features and run the site using a shared hosting service that cost $85 a month. Students from other colleges began approaching them, asking for online face books of their own. So the trio carved out new areas on the site for places like Stanford and Yale. By May, 30 schools were included, and banner- type ads for student events and college-oriented businesses had brought in a few thousand dollars.
When I was in school, I was the first person to setup a game on the school's network that many people could play at once. I'm afraid it probably cost a lot of people their semester. The game was called Doom.
Before this I had set up IRC (the first massive chat system) & MUDs (highly addictive multiuser dungeons, think text-based World of Warcraft) on the network. It was amazing how quickly people found out about these things and how they spread, and how empty computer labs filled up at 3 in the morning with people chatting on IRC.
Ironically, one of the most popular global groups started on Facebook was Students against Facebook News Feed.
In less than 48 hours, 700,000 people had joined the protest, and the blogosphere declared it the end of Facebook. News crews camped outside the Facebook offices, as if a bald Britney Spears were being held captive inside.
Their news feed supposedly distributes more 'news' in 1 day then in the history of conventional media.
Facebooks biggest advertiser? Microsoft.