PALO ALTO, Calif. — Sept. 26, 2006 — Facebook, the Internet’s leading social utility, today announced that it has expanded to enable everyone to connect with their friends and the people around them. People can now join one of more than 500 regional networks to share information with other people on Facebook and take advantage of the site’s industry-leading privacy controls.
Previously, a supported “.edu,” “.com,” “.org,” “.gov” or “.mil” email address was needed to register on Facebook. While prior expansions enabled more people from schools, companies, non-profits, and government entities to register for Facebook, this latest expansion makes it possible for anyone with a valid email address to join Facebook and interact with their friends and people in their region. New users are still required to prove affiliation to access an existing college or work network, and are also asked to validate their mobile phone number to verify their account.
“We are expanding to respond to the requests of millions of people who want to be part of Facebook, but haven’t been able to until today,” said Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO, Facebook. “About one-third of Facebook’s college users have already graduated and are now interacting with more people outside of their schools and work environment.”
Consistent with Facebook’s unique network structure, people’s profiles are only accessible to other people in the same network and to confirmed friends. Facebook has launched additional privacy controls with this expansion that allow every user to: • Block other users in specific networks from searching for his or her name. • Prevent people in those networks from messaging, poking and adding him or her as a friend. • Control whether his or her profile picture shows up in search results.