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Headquarters Cupertino, California, United States
Website is a non-commercial, advertisement-free, Internet social networking Website that started in 1996 and is considered the first social network website in the world.[citation needed] Also, it is one of the oldest social network websites still operating.

History[edit] was originally funded by Softbank, the Japanese investment bank, with an initial $120 million investment. By 2000, a total of approximately $200 million was invested and the company had over 200 employees. It is widely acknowledged as the first social network in the world.

The site grew to over 5 million registered users and it is estimated was the largest social network until MySpace exceeded its size some years later. was originally located across from Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California. At the time, Communities purchased a number of high-profile Internet companies, including Microcosm, OnLive and The Palace.

In late 2000, pulled their IPO with an initial $2.1 billion valuation. Six months later, Open Text Corporation made a $1.5 million investment[citation needed] before the company filed Chapter 7 in 2001. A junior employee, who made less than $50,000 a year, purchased the social network for approximately $30,000 out of bankruptcy.[citation needed]

Patrick and Ingemar[who?] are said to have bought the domain. As per Patrick, the domain was first registered in 1995 by "Electric Communities Inc.", who had over $100 million in venture capital. When Electric Communities filed Chapter 11 and ceased all business operations, including running the web sites and The Palace was, and still is, a popular chat client developed by Electric Communities. Both domains ( and were dropped (anyone who wants can register them again and the domains will be theirs). Both domains were immediately picked up by someone or some company and sold at two different auctions[vague]. He[who?] continued running the site and it is now run by a group of volunteers.[timeframe?]

The site was sold at a separate auction, which Patrick and Ingemar started with an offer of $5. They later purchased at a much higher price[vague], but still cheap[why?]. In 2001, they had almost finished their studies, they felt that they could and should do something good with[according to whom?]; making an international community site where people from the whole world could come together and chat and have fun. So they developed an advanced community site instead. Since then, the site is highly moderated by volunteer administrators. All pictures uploaded need to be manually authorized. The site has users from 185 countries with the highest number of users from Sweden followed by USA, UK and Canada.

Website outages[edit] experienced server problems in September through October 2011. As per one declaration by site admins, there has been a major breakdown of servers of this site, due to which users are unable to log into[citation needed] By the end of October 2011, new servers had been installed and the site was working efficiently once again. was also down for a period of time[vague] when the storm, Hurricane Sandy, hit the New York area. The site was down for quite some time, as it was being shifted to a new server according to the site's admins. It is again up online as on date (03 Feb 2016). However many old users are not aware about its status and may never return.


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