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Facebook

Facebook is an American social network and technology company founded in 2004 by Harvard roommates Mark Zuckerberg, Chris Hughes, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, and Andrew McCollum. The platform originally allowed users to create profiles and post updates to friends when it launched on college campuses. It quickly became known for colloquialisms like "Friending" and its famous Like button, and added messaging and photo and video sharing capabilities. But in the past 12 years, Facebook has grown into a robust advertising platform, is spearheading initiatives to provide Internet access in developing countries, and is even venturing into artificial intelligence and virtual reality. Led by CEO Zuckerberg, Facebook has ballooned to include more than a billion daily active users--most of whom access the platform via its mobile app. Meanwhile, Facebook's Messenger app (which the company split off from the main Facebook app) has blossomed into an 800-million-user platform of its own. High-profile acquisitions like 2012's purchase of Instagram (which boomed to 400 million users under Facebook ownership) and 2014's purchases of WhatsApp and Oculus VR have only broadened Facebook's reach and influence as a social platform and technology heavy hitter. Next up is virtual reality. Oculus Rift--the groundbreaking headset that will finally ship to consumers 2016--will give Facebook a shot at being the defining player in the next era of computer interfaces.

The company's competitive advantage in 2016:

A dominating social platformPowerful monetization of the platform through advertising and other means

The biggest challenges standing in this company's way in 2016:

Market penetration in its existing major markets is already very high

What to look out for:

Launch of Oculus Rift VR headset
Further news about Aquila, Facebook's project to build drones that can shoot Internet down to Earth via laser
Possible changes to Internet.org: its initiative to bring connectivity to new markets that has faced criticism in countries such as India

Top tip for getting a job at this company:

Be prepared to write code on a whiteboard during your interview

Top perks for employees:

Excellent parental leave policy
Endless options for free food
On-site haircuts, oil changes, etc.
Rooftop park atop new Frank Gehry building in Menlo Park, CA

Social media handles:

Twitter: @facebook
Instagram: @facebook
Facebook: Facebook.com/facebook

50 Most Innovative Companies 2016

Data

competition
Google, Twitter, Tencent, Line
people
Cofounder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg; COO Sheryl Sandberg; CTO Mike Schroepfer
valuation
$276 billion
public or private
Public
staff
12,691
users
Over 1 billion daily active users
headquarters
Menlo Park, CA

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