Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg The world's youngest
Facebook has attracted more users than there are people in Germany - and the man behind it is the youngest self-made billionaire in history. Mark Zuckerberg (24), founder of the online networking website sensation, telling about his success.
More than 400 Facebook fans were waiting at the Technical University in Berlin yesterday lunchtime for their 'guru', who favours flip-flops as his shoe of choice.
When he arrived, hardly anyone recognised or even noticed him: shy, reserved, not a bodyguard in sight and because of the cold, wearing trainers for a change. He could have been one of the students, but Zuckerberg will probably never have to study again.
Zuckerberg was born on May 14 1984 in Dobbs Ferry, New York to a good Jewish family, and his father is a dentist. From an early age, he hacked into computers, wrote his own programs and in the autumn of 2002, he arrived at Harvard University.
On February 15, 2004, he launched Facebook online. “I knew students would use a site where they could share information. I didn’t think that my site would become the most visited address in the world,” Zuckerberg said.
Some 45 colleges were registered on the site in the summer of 2004. By the end of the year, Facebook had one million members.
In 2005, the first applications were added to the site. From 2006 on, members could publish messages (the ‘what are you doing right now?’ function) and the number of members had risen to over five million. “I didn’t need to go to university anymore,” he said.
From 2007, members were able to upload their own programs such as games. In 2008, the site was translated into other languages, and today 110 million people are registered.
Zuckerberg added: “Most people have families, friends and colleagues with whom they want to share their life. That’s why the site has really taken off.”
In Germany, 1.2 million people already use Facebook. “Germany is important,“ said Zuckerman, “and funny. I’ve just learned that you sort your rubbish into five different bins here, cool!”
Because nearly all members use the site every day, the website is financed by advertising. In 2004, an investor put in $500,000, the next came in with $12.7 million and another with $27.5 million.In 2007, computer giant Microsoft bought 1.6 per cent of the company for $240 million. The estimated worth of ‘Facebook’ rose to $15 billion and made the big-eared, baby-faced Zuckerman the youngest self-made billionaire in the world