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Fast expanding, as its practice is generally known, provides a big economic boost in the early to mid game, but can leave a player vulnerable to a rush or 'cheese' strategy, like a bunker rush.
The prevalence of fast expanding varies by matchup. In ZvZ, it is common that an expansion is never taken throughout the game, and fast expanding is very rare. In PvZ, however, the protoss generally fast expands every game, and to respond the zerg generally double expands.