Facebook on Wednesday filed to raise $US5 billion in an initial public offering. Here are a few highlights of its meteoric rise, several of which were chronicled in David Fincher's seminal Oscar-winning 2010 movie, "The Social Network":
October 28 2003 - Mark Zuckerberg, a Harvard psychology sophomore, writes "Facemash," a website that asked users to judge students' attractiveness based on their dorm-directory photos. The authorities -- and many students -- were not amused.
February 4 2004 - Zuckerberg launches Thefacebook.com, a social network that allows users to create basic profiles including personal information and photos.
February 10 2004 - Harvard students Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss and Divya Narenya send Zuckerberg a cease-and-desist letter, accusing Zuckerberg of independently developing thefacebook.com while he was hired to work on their social networking project, HarvardConnection.
June 2004 - Peter Thiel, PayPal co-founder and venture capitalist, invests $US500,000 in Facebook.
May 26, 2005 - Accel Partners, the venture capital firm headed by investor Jim Breyer, invests $US12.7 million in Facebook, valuing the company at roughly $US100 million.
October 24, 2007 - Microsoft Corp announces that it purchased a 1.6 percent share of Facebook for $US240 million, giving the company a total implied value of around $US15 billion.
April 7, 2008 - Facebook settles with the founders of "ConnectU", the Winklevoss twins and Divya Narendra, for a purported $US65 million, according to promotional material later published by ConnectU's lawyers.
May 26, 2009 - Russian investor Yuri Milner's Digital Sky Technologies invests $US200 million for a 1.96 per cent stake, bringing Facebook's value down to $US10 billion.
June 30, 2010 - In one of the more bizarre twists in Facebook's history, New York businessman Paul D. Ceglia files suit against Zuckerberg, claiming he had struck a deal with the founder in 2003 for half of Facebook's revenue and rightfully owned 84 per cent of the company. Three successive lawyers withdrew from his legal team within a period of four months in late 2011. The litigation remains ongoing.
October 10, 2010 - Columbia Pictures releases "The Social Network," a film about Facebook's beginning, directed by David Fincher and written by Aaron Sorkin.
January 2, 2011 - Facebook raises $US500 million from Goldman Sachs and Digital Sky Technologies in a deal that valued the company at $US50 billion.
January 2011 - Goldman controversially markets as much as $US1.5 billion worth of Facebook shares to its private investors, but withdraws the offer from American clients on January 18 following intense media coverage and scrutiny from the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The offer was withdrawn because of accusations that it ran afoul of regulations prohibiting share-placement sponsors from aggressively promoting a deal to potential investors.
November 29, 2011 - Facebook agrees to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it deceived users on what information it would keep private. The incident underscored how user concerns about privacy were spurring top-level government scrutiny of Silicon Valley.
January 25, 2012 - Trading of Facebook shares is halted on the secondary market as rumors of an impending IPO gain steam.
February 1, 2012 - Facebook files its Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission seeking to raise $US5 billion in a highly anticipated IPO.