With the inception of social networking sites in the early 2000s, there were several startup companies looking to maximize their membership and excel in niche areas. In the first few years that Facebook entered the scene, it was meant to be the best way for college students to socialize and connect. It didn't take long for this service to expand and become inclusive of people of all ages, from 13 on up. For years now, Facebook has remained the most popular social networking website.
Facebook's service is constantly updating. To stay in contention as one of the best social networking websites, Facebook has realized that it must add features and change the site layout frequently to stay ahead of the curve and keep from becoming stagnant.
Facebook has become a way of life for many people. You can instantly communicate with old high school friends or peruse your neighbor's vacation photos. This social network is so pervasive that it's unusual to hear someone claim they don't have an account.
When you log in to this social media site, the first thing you see is a feed that keeps you posted on the lives of your friends, news and other updates. The Facebook toolbar notifies you immediately if you have a new friend request or unread message in your inbox, or if someone commented on or liked your status or post.
Facebook is an entirely free service. It doesn’t use AdSense ads, which can clog up any webpage. However, you do see ads, on the right side of your screen, that are tailored to you based on internet cookies. The ads are small, and you learn to see past them.
The mobile app for this social network is impressive and can even provide a better experience if you only care to see what is highlighted in the news feed. It cuts out the majority of ads, suggestions, and friends who are currently online and open to chat. These options are still available from your smartphone or tablet, but they are hidden unless you navigate directly to them.
Beyond uploading photo albums to share with your friends, you can upload personal videos. You can also share news articles, YouTube videos and much more. Facebook really does allow you to keep in touch with friends in many different ways.
Facebook's desktop website design is straightforward. It has few graphics or decoration, but most users like the uniform, utilitarian interface. Although you can't customize skins or change the color scheme, you can rearrange the position of some of your information boxes on your profile by simply dragging and dropping them to other spots on the screen.
When you edit your profile, you can be as specific as you'd like to be. You can make your profile a mini resume with your current and past jobs. You can add items to your education networks. Once you add this information, Facebook can focus on specific suggestions for people you may know from your university or current job. You can also add your basic information such as where you live, your favorite quotes, your website, and your religious and political views.
You must be at least 13 years old to create a Facebook account. You cannot browse the Facebook database without registering for an account. In its terms of service agreement, Facebook states that it does not allow offensive content such as sexually charged language and explicit photos; however, it also states that it is not responsible for closely monitoring the content on the website. Because of this, Facebook encourages members to report content they find offensive. Facebook also allows you to block individual users and report spam or profile abuse.
In addition to being able to make your entire profile private, you can select which sections of your profile you would like displayed and to whom. For example, your wall can be open to everyone while your photographs are only visible to your friends or friends of friends. The same is true of your personal, educational, work and contact information.
Facebook is the king of social networking sites for a reason. You also can't go wrong with its great mobile app, connecting you to your friends whenever you feel like it. Facebook is definitely the go-to service for staying in touch with friends and family, reuniting with old friends, and making new connections.