10 Years of Facebook
Who can believe that 10 years have passed since Facebook first launched? Looking at what the social media network is today, it’s clear that a lot has changed since the beginning.
Let’s take a look back at the highs and lows of a social network that ultimately defined the social media landscape and look at the changes that have taken place....
Welcome to Facebook
Well before Facebook was hitting 1 billion users mark; the site was created to let Harvard University students network with their peers. The network was known back then as ‘Thefacebook’
Facebook at the time offered a basic layout, a far cry from what the site is like today...
The success of the network soon became apparent as within 24 hours of its launch, the website grew to 1,500 users and within the first month more than half of Harvard’s undergraduates had signed themselves up. It wasn’t before long that Facebook open its doors to everyone who was beyond the university’s doors.
As time passed and users grew, the network then began improving the visual aspects of the site and implemented further features like photo sharing, the mini-feed and then the news feed which promoted users to share their thoughts, feelings and opinions online with their friends and family.
Hello Facebook pages, real-time activity and video calling
Skipping ahead a few years, Facebook was becoming a more integral part to the everyday online user’s life and it calls for some major functionality changes, keeping the site ahead of its game and gradually becoming more engaging and interactive as time went on.
Brands and celebrities alike were given the opportunity to invite fans & consumers to ‘like’ their pages, Facebook stalking becomes even more possible with the introduction of a real-time sidebar showing you what you’re friends are liking, sharing & connecting with and in 2011 Facebook enabled video chatting to further improve user-communication.
It’s all about graph search
One of the biggest changes to the social media network was the introduction of Facebook’s graph search. The feature combines data acquired from its 1 billion users with external data into a search engine providing user-specific search results.
Graph search was set out to enhance the user experience allowing them to engage with people who have like-minded interests as well offering recommendations based on what your network have been doing.
Facebook and Instagram become one
In 2012, Facebook announced that it was to buy Instagram, a photo sharing app for $1 billion dollars however, to this day Instagram remains to be a separate app although part of the Facebook family.
At 200 million users the app has positioned itself as a social media network in its own right but some might say that the platform wouldn’t have evolved and improved as much as it has without the Facebook acquisition.
And finally... £11.4 billion for WhatsApp? Why not!
The biggest sweep for Facebook was their very recent acquisition of social messaging app WhatsApp which they reportedly paid $4bn dollars in cash for (£2.4bn) and a further $15bn (£9bn) in Facebook shares.
The purchase marks the largest single acquisition in the social network’s 10 year history and has come after the real-time mobile messaging service hits the 450million users a month mark.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg stated that “WhatsApp is on a path to connect one billion people. The services that reach that milestone are incredibly valuable”.
So where does that leave us?
There’s no doubt in saying that Facebook has been hugely successful in the past decade but what we really want to know now is what’s next for the social media giant?
With a recent report in mind by Princeton researchers who describe Facebook as “an infectious disease” and suggesting that we’re somewhat becoming “immune to its attractions”, will we be sitting reminiscing 20 years gone in another 10 years time? Only time will tell...