As the popular social networking site, which is intertwined with our lives in numerous unspoken ways, turns 16 today, lets rundown through the timeline of Facebook.
Mark had already released Facemash, which was a Harvard University version of Hot or Not. Later, with fellow co-founders, he began writing, Facebook.
On February 4th 2004, Zuckerberg launched Facebook as a social network limited only to the students of Harvard. On December 30th, Facebook achieved its first landmark after getting 1 million registered users.
On Apr 13th, Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, and Eduardo Saverin formed a partnership by the name of Thefacebook.com and in June they received their first investment US$500,000 from Peter Theil. On July 29th, Facebook incorporated into a new organization with Sean Parker roped in as its first President.
The journey had started to pick momentum from here on with Accel Partners investing $13 million to Facebook on May 26th, 2005. In August that year, they acquired Facebook.com domain for a whopping $200,000. The very next month, Facebook launched its high school version.
In October, Facebook expanded to universities in UK, with Oxford, Cambridge and University of West of England as the first institutions on the platform. This was the time Facebook evolved as a product and launched photos feature with unlimited storage. In December 2005, the ‘Tag a friend’ feature was introduced.
We love writing, reading and commenting on each other’s post on Facebook. But the concept of writing on Facebook started with the introduction of a blogging feature, Facebook Notes, in August 2006.
In September 2006, about two and a half year after its launch, Facebook opened its membership for everyone. That is when you and I, and a million others who were not enrolled to any university or school in the US or UK, could also log in to this platform, build a profile, and stay connected with friends, family, and long-lost colleagues, virtually. The same month, ‘News Feeds’ was introduced. Being a new concept, seeing an ever-changing update on what our friends were doing, created quite the confusion.
In October 2008, Facebook set up its first international headquarter in Dublin Ireland.
On February 9, 2009, it launched the iconic ‘Like’ button which has now become a cultural landmark of this generation.
A lot of acquisition talks and selling of shares happened through the year 2010. In April 2010, they introduced Community Pages, and the option of liking each other’s comments. The movie, The Social Network was made and released to document Facebook’s journey in 2010. Though the movie opened to raving reviews and collected a Box Office fortune, Mark Zuckerberg stated that David Fincher’s directorial was highly inaccurate.
As a product, Facebook was still in the process of continuous evolution and upgrades. In December 2010, they designed the site to include one’s biographic information, work experience, pictures and relationship status.
The popularity enjoyed by Zukerberg’s social networking site enticed others to enter the market and start a competition. In June 2011, Google launched Google+. It failed to impress users who were not only satisfied with Facebook but were invigorated with the regular surprises it had to offer. Subsequently, Facebook partnered with Skype to add the feature of video chat and launched Facebook Messenger for Android users.
The next landmark achievement was acquiring another popular photo-sharing platform, Instagram. It happened in April 2012, and in exchange of a mammoth amount of 1 billion USD. In October 2012 Facebook registered 1 billion active users.
Though Facebook was riding high, it had its share of bottlenecks to deal with. In March 2013, they made some major changes to the ‘News Feed’ and drew negative feedback from users across the globe. Eventually, they had to roll this unpopular change back.
In 2017, Facebook reached 2 billion monthly active users. The same year they introduced the feature of reacting, and not just ‘liking’ pictures, posts and comments on Facebook.
While users were happy with this noble feature, one person who was miffed with the social networking site, was US President, Donald Trump who had alleged that Facebook, along with Twitter, was purposefully Anti-Trump.
The site had drawn major flak multiple times for its political bias and for allegedly sharing personal data of users with external agencies. In 2018, Mark Zuckerberg attended his first congressional hearings at Washington, D.C. He testified about controversies over data privacy and was questioned for close to 10 hours by senators and representatives. Though, Zuckerberg profusely apologized and promised privacy reforms, he stood his ground and defended Facebook against possible threats of new legislation also.
With a lot of popularity and some roadblocks, Facebook continues to grow with every second passing by. Do let us know in the comment section below, when did you join Facebook and how has your journey been so far.