Happy Birthday Facebook!
How time flies. I can’t believe Facebook has now reached the ripe old age of 6 years old today, as according to its info page it was launched on this day in 2004. And it’s certainly not bad for a scheme hatched by a 20-year-old in his college dorm room!
Facebook was originally called ‘Thefacebook’ located at thefacebook.com and was set up by Mark Zuckerberg (and the lesser known Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes). Intended to be a network for Harvard students only, it became so popular it was adopted by other universities before being expanded out to the masses to become the biggest social network on the Internet.
Ask people about their views on social media for 2009 and it will inevitably come back as the year of Twitter, the current darling of the social sphere. Facebook hasn’t been hanging around though, as it managed to add a further 200 million new users last year, which raised a whooping $200 million. This is actually double the amount Twitter was reported to have raised in funds back September.
2009 also saw Facebook over take MySpace in US traffic levels, and at the same time MySpace actual lost 1 million users. Acquisition of new users has been key to Facebook’s success, and at the last count the number of users totalled 35o million (meaning approximately 45 million status updates each day – great if you want to know what your mate had for breakfast or that they have lost an umbrella).
Twitter, launched publicly in July 2006, has hit quadrupole-digit growth, thanks to the surge of celebrity tweeters and its open platform. Back came Facebook with its own open stream API and acquisition of FriendFeed (designed by the brains behind Gmail and Google Maps), which provides a real time search engine better than Twitters.
Facebook hasn’t been without its problems however, with scandal around privacy settings and the breach of Canadian Privacy Laws.
So what of Facebook in 2010? Well, it seems there is no slowing down as it continues to fire out new features, including talk about introducing virtual currency, and with a projected revenue figure of $700 million this year, who wouldn’t be confident. The Facebook Era is even a required textbook for the a marketing course at Stanford and social media course at Harvard!
Nice one Facebook and Happy Birthday!