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Facebook pulls off 'epic' status update hack

May 18, 2012|By Michelle Maltais
  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg rings the opening Nasdaq bell from the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg rings the opening Nasdaq bell from the company's… (Zef Nikolla / Facebook )

Did you notice that Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook page updated as he rang the Nasdaq bell Friday morning? Well, that was an "epic" hack.

It started with a lunchtime kibbitz and a Facebook post on Monday, Facebook software engineer David Garcia wrote on TechCrunch. Garcia said he posted on his Facebook page, "We should totally hack the button so it pushes an open graph action, 'Mark Rang the NASDAQ bell.'"

The very first comment was an unequivocal sign of approval from the big guy himself: "It would be epic if you pulled that off."

With that, Garcia got to work searching for the solution. Ultimately, he decided to connect the Nasdaq button to a mobile phone that was logged into Facebook. Simple in theory, but apparently a tad more complex in practice, Garcia wrote. 

From hacking his headphones so they publish to Facebook instead of playing music to actually hacking the Nasdaq button without breaking it, Garcia had his work cut out for him.

But after a shopping excursion to RadioShack and several hours of careful tweaking, the button sent a signal through the hack triggering the phone, which ultimately resulted in a post.

So at the very same moment Zuckerberg pushed the button, turning on the light and ringing the bell, his Facebook page also lighted up: "Mark Zuckerberg listed a company on NASDAQ. — with Chris Cox and 4 others."

"In less than 3 days, an idea became reality, something that would be seen by people all around the world," Garcia wrote. 

As Zuckerberg wrote in a comment on the update the crew set up for him, "This is a pretty awesome hack."

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