The Teenage Years
The Facebook was launched and, at first, was available only to Harvard University students. In March 2004, only one month after its initial launch, Zuckerberg expanded access to Stanford, Yale, and Columbia. Then Zuckerberg quickly expanded access to all Ivy League universities, then next to Boston area universities and colleges, and then across the United States and Canada. Although nothing specifically points to the geographic location of Harvard University as one of the reasons for the early explosive growth, it could be argued that it had a big effect. In the greater Boston area, there are well over 100 colleges and universities. The Northeast has the largest concentration of colleges and universities in the country. This helped Zuckerberg spread the social network quickly as it created demand for access as friends from different schools chatted with one another.
During its initial growth spurt at Harvard, Zuckerberg brought on Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, Andrew McCllum, and Chris Hughes to help with programming, graphic design, promotion, and other related tasks. The Facebook would later incorporate as a business during the summer of 2004. In June 2004, only 4 months after the platform's inception, Facebook would receive its first investment totaling $500,000 from Peter Thiel, cofounder of PayPal. For The Facebook to continue its Cinderella story, it would be necessary for the company to be located at the epicenter of technology, Silicon Valley. The Facebook moved operations out of the dorm rooms at Harvard and out to Palo Alto, California.
In 2005, The Facebook purchased facebook.com for $200,000 and dropped "The" from its name. Later that year, in September 2005, approximately a year and one-half after the initial launch, Facebook opened its network to high schools. It would be another year, in September 2006, that Facebook would completely open the network to anyone older than 13 with a valid email address.
During this time, Facebook continued to receive injections of cash to help it scale its operations to accommodate for the increase in demand from its users. In 2005, Facebook received venture capital funding from Accel Partners to the tune of $12.7 million. Facebook would receive another injection from Greylock Partners totaling $27.5 million in 2006.
To help Facebook continue expanding into international markets, in October 2007, Facebook and Microsoft expanded an advertising deal that gave Microsoft a $240 million equity stake in the social network. As a main pillar of Facebook's current revenue model, Facebook launched Facebook Ads a month later, in November 2007.