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.

Facebook extends global reach with WhatsApp purchase - but not in China

Facebook has been blocked on mainland China since 2009. Photo: EPA

Facebook has no immediate plans to use mobile-messaging provider WhatsApp, which the social network operator is acquiring for up to US$19 billion, as a means to unblock its content on the mainland.

Tuesday, 21 April, 2015, 11:14am 2 comments

WeChat in the way of Facebook's ambitions in China

The purchase of WhatsApp, which has about 450 million monthly active users, is Facebook's biggest-ever acquisition. Photo: Reuters

Facebook may well see its US$19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp as a way to break into the mainland's growing mobile-messaging market, but it faces a big challenge taking on Chinese internet giant Tencent's home-grown WeChat platform, analysts say.

21 Feb 2014 - 4:31am

How Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg courted WhatsApp founder Jan Koum

Jan Koum, WhatsApp CEO

The relationship between Facebook and WhatsApp started in the spring 2012 over coffee at a German bakery. It was consummated on Valentine's Day with chocolate-covered strawberries, after just five days of talks.

21 Apr 2015 - 11:14am 6 comments

Is Whatsapp going to open doors for Facebook in China?

This Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 photo shows the WhatsApp and Facebook app icons on an iPhone in New York. Photo: AP

I haven't written about Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) in a while, mostly because the company hasn't made any concrete moves into China lately despite previous assertions that it would like to enter the market.

21 Apr 2015 - 11:14am 3 comments

Facebook buys WhatsApp for US$19 billion

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

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.

21 Apr 2015 - 11:14am 6 comments

Asian messaging apps moving in on global tech giants' turf

WeChat has emerged as an alternative distribution channel for advertisements, software applications and goods and services. Photo: Reuters

Asian chat services KakaoTalk, Line and WeChat threaten to overturn the mobile order of things, usurping the role of Google, Apple, Amazon.com Facebook and telecommunications carriers as gatekeeper to the consumer.

20 Feb 2014 - 12:56am

Facebook gives 50 options to identify gender like androgynous, transsexual

Facebook software engineer Brielle Harrison demonstrates Facebook's expanded options for gender identification. Photo: AP

You do not have to be male or female on Facebook anymore. The social media company is adding a customisable option with about 50 different terms people can use to identify their gender as well as three preferred pronoun choices: him, her or them.

15 Feb 2014 - 3:56am

Child advocacy groups say Facebook deal does not compel it to change

A US judge in August approved the deal to make Facebook pay for using members "likes" as endorsements for ads. Photo: Reuters

Children's advocacy groups lambasted Facebook as they launched a bid to axe a US$20 million deal to settle charges that the social network violated privacy by using "likes" as endorsements for ads.

14 Feb 2014 - 9:26pm

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's very public view of privacy

Illustration: Craig Stephens

Ten years ago, a 19-year-old Mark Zuckerberg sat at a computer in his Harvard dorm room and launched thefacebook.com The goal, according to a 2009 Zuckerberg blog post commemorating Facebook's 200 millionth user, was "to create a richer, faster way for people to share information about what was happening around them".

9 Feb 2014 - 4:48am

Twitter's stock falls 18 per cent on paltry growth in users

Twitter's user growth fell in every quarter last year. Photo: AFP

Twitter reported its slowest pace of user growth in recent history, dimming hopes the social media phenomenon can sustain its torrid pace of expansion and wiping out nearly a fifth of the company's value in after-hours trading.

7 Feb 2014 - 2:00am

Despite chatter, Facebook not down and out with teens yet

Facebook has grown to 1.23 billion active users worldwide.

Owen Fairchild doesn't hang out at Facebook as much as he did when he was younger.

It is not that he and his friends are abandoning the social network. They are spreading their love to rival networks like Twitter, Pinterest, SnapChat, Instagram and blogging platform Tumblr.

3 Feb 2014 - 5:53am

Facebook stocks surge on US$1.5 billion 2013 earnings and rising membership

Photo: AFP

Facebook said on Wednesday that profit soared last year on the back of sizzling mobile ad revenue as the social network’s membership swelled.

The world’s biggest social network reported that profit in the fourth quarter jumped eight-fold from a year earlier to US$523 million, raising its net income for the year to US$1.5 billion.

30 Jan 2014 - 11:33am

Facebook will lose 80pc of users by 2017, say Princeton University researchers

Facebook reported nearly 1.2 billion monthly active users in October. Photo: AFP

Facebook has spread like an infectious disease but we are slowly becoming immune to its attractions, and the platform will be largely abandoned by 2017, say researchers at Princeton University in America.

24 Jan 2014 - 3:23am

Sheryl Sandberg can officially change her Facebook status to ‘billionaire’

Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, speaks during last year's economic forum in Dalian, China. Photo: Bloomberg

When Sheryl Sandberg heads to this week’s World Economic Forum in Switzerland, she will walk in as a billionaire.

Reports said the Facebook chief operation officer’s wealth officially surpassed US$1 billion on Wednesday on the back of a surge in Facebook stocks, of which she holds about 12.3 million shares. Facebook stocks closed at US$57.51 on Thursday, Bloomberg reported.

23 Jan 2014 - 1:27pm

Facebook sued for sharing users' data with advertisers and marketers

Facebook sued for sharing users' data with advertisers and marketers

Facebook is being sued in the US over allegations it systematically intercepts its users' private messages on the social network and profits by sharing the data with advertisers and marketers.

4 Jan 2014 - 2:20am