Launched in February 2004, Facebook is a social networking service founded by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates and fellow students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. Early investors include Microsoft and Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka- shing, through his namesake charitable foundation. Facebook’s US$16 billion initial public offering in May 2012 generated huge investor interest although the shares subsequently slumped in price.

'No one in the history of the world has ever done something like this,' Mark Zuckerberg said. Photo: Reuters

Facebook buys WhatsApp for US$19 billion

Facebook will buy fast-growing mobile-messaging startup WhatsApp for US$19 billion in cash and stock in a landmark deal that places the world’s largest social network closer to the heart of mobile communications and may bring younger users into the fold.