Facebook Opens to Everyone

September 26, 2006

It finally happened. Official announcement on the Facebook Blog:

You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again; here at Facebook, we want to help people understand their world. We started at one school, and realized over and over again that this site was useful to everyone—not just to Harvard students, not just to college students, not just to students, not just to former students. We’ve kept growing to accommodate this fact.

This includes your friends who graduated pre-Facebook (yes, there was such a time), your friends who don’t have school or work email addresses, and your friends whose schools don’t give out email addresses. Now you can all connect.

Next: massive exodus or massive growth? Either way things will never be the same.

Aaron Greenspan posted an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg yesterday regarding this new policy. An excerpt:

The controversy surrounding Facebook’s news feed feature, and now your plans to make the site accessible to the general public, have both piqued my interest. Over dinner that night at Harvard, I expressed my concern that you might end up having a privacy nightmare on your hands. How foolish I was not to realize what one of those nightmares was worth! So while you’re making up your mind about whether to accept Yahoo’s $900 million offer…I thought I’d write to you with some unsolicited advice. Remember that web site you signed up for at Harvard two days before we met in January 2004, called houseSYSTEM – the one I made with the Universal Face Book that pre-dated your site by four months? (You left it out of your speech at Stanford, which is why I ask.) Well, I’ve re-launched it as CommonRoom (http://www.commonroom.com), and just like its predecessor, it has all sorts of features that might seem familiar: birthday reminders, an event calendar, RSVPs…After all, when you saw all of those features in houseSYSTEM three years ago, you called them “too useful,” but I stood by them as valuable.


Yahoo Offered Facebook $1.4 Billion

September 22, 2006

New details emerge on the rumored sale of Facebook to Yahoo. From BusinessWeek Online:

Is Facebook really worth $1 billion? Analysts easily agree the answer is yes. Whether it’s worth that much to Yahoo!, however, is a more complicated question. The Web portal initially offered Facebook $1.4 billion, according to people familiar with the deal. Talks broke down in July, about the time Yahoo shares lost 20% of their value on news that its new targeted advertising technology would be delayed. Sources close to Facebook say there has been no new deal, but discussions could easily resume.

Facebook Considering Sale to Yahoo

September 21, 2006

Facebook is gracing the headlines again. From The Associated Press (at BusinessWeek Online):

Facebook, an Internet-based social networking site, is in “serious” talks to sell itself to Yahoo Inc. for a pricetag that could approach $1 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Facebook had separate discussions with suitors Microsoft Corp. and Viacom Inc. in the past year as well, the newspaper said.

TechCrunch has some quotes from the original WSJ article (not available for free):

During one series of talks with Microsoft, Facebook executives told their Microsoft peers they couldn’t do an 8 a.m. conference call because the company’s 22-year-old founder and chief executive, Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerberg, wouldn’t be awake, says a person familiar with the talks. Microsoft executives were incredulous.

Funny how quickly things change. From SiliconBeat (April 2006):

Facebook, the popular Palo Alto social networking site, has raised $25 million in venture capital from some Silicon Valley investors, putting to rest for now speculation that it was considering acquisition offers. … “It has never been our intention to sell the company,” said Melanie Deitch, Facebook’s director of marketing, adding that the latest funding puts the rumors of such a sale to rest.

These are the people that we trust with all our personal information.

David Skorton Already Has Too Many Friends

September 12, 2006

Courtesy of IvyGate:
facebook - david skorton already has too many friends

Looks like David Skorton reached Facebook’s friend limit. On the bright side, Cornell’s other president still has plenty of room.