The plugin includes activity streams similar to the Facebook timeline, profile pages for members of the network, user groups that allow you to create micro communities within the network, notifications for updates, private messaging with individuals or several members at once, and much more. BuddyPress can also be extended with additional functionality through plugins, and themes can customize the default styling of the plugin.
The BuddyPress project was originally started by developer Andy Peatling back in 2008. He sold it to Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, in 2008, and they owned BuddyPress until 2010, when they released the rights to the BuddyPress trademark to the WordPress Foundation. They still contribute resources towards its continued development, and Andy Peatling works at Automattic as Product Lead.
Like WordPress itself, BuddyPress is released under the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2.