Webeden Blog Social Media Facebook – Whose idea was it?

Facebook – Whose idea was it?


Social Media

We’ve recently covered lots of stories about just how big Facebook has become. The world’s most popular social networking service now has over 400m users and is now the world’s most visited website.

Facebook is headed by 27 year old Mark Zuckerberg, who claimed to have come up with the idea whilst studying at Harvard.

But that’s not the view of two of his erstwhile study-mates who reckon that it was their idea first. Facebook must have been spooked by what Cameron and Tyler Winkelvoss were saying, since they paid them an estimated to $65m to consider ‘the matter concluded’.


The Winkelvoss brothers say that Facebook is basically a copy of their startup ‘ConnectU’. And now they’ve just said that despite the pay off they’re going to continue to pursue a legal battle against Facebook.

Both brothers rowed in the Boat race for Oxford, and say that “It’s our duty to stand for principles. We’re willing to wait around and make sure that’s what right has been made right.”

All 3 started ConnectU back in 2003, but Zuckerberg then moved to launch a similar site called ‘thefacebook.com’ which became hugely popular across the Harvard campus.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Facebook for its part told the BBC: “The settlement has been enforced by the courts and attempts to delay that decision have been denied twice.

“We hope that discussion of spurious and false allegations and other matters that were concluded years ago are not distracting anyone from their preparations for the race. We consider the matter concluded.”

Back in 1998 I myself thought up a ‘look for’ mechanism whereby I could organise the world’s online information. I came up with the name Goggle. I might take that idea up again some day…