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.