Unless you have been living in a cave on Mars, with your eyes shut and your fingers in your ears, you should have probably heard about Facebook. Today, when people think of the Internet, they think about it in the next thought.
Facebook is an online social networking service that founded on Feb. 4, 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and his college roommates and other Harvard University students. From those early beginnings, the website quickly began to expand. Today, 10 years later, 1.2 billion people on the planet are using Facebook, with one billion active users. In all 180 petabytes (184,320 terabytes) of data exists on its servers, and this grows by half a petabyte every single day.
Today, the company is worth $134 billion, and ranks 462 on the Forbes 500 list. For Facebook and its creator, it has not been about creating a company, but connecting the world.
Since 2006, it has been open to everyone over the age of 13 with a valid e-mail address. By 2007, the site had 100,000 business pages, and by 2009 the site’s traffic began to increase steadily. In 2010, it had more visits to it than Google.
It has gone through several changes over the years. Since the beginning, there has always been the profile page, where people can put their interests, contact information, pictures and statuses. Today, users can share content and much more, showing the evolution of the site since 2004. According to a 2012 study, 20 to 30 per cent of Facebook users frequently link, poke, post and tag themselves in content on the site.
In 2007, they added Facebook Pages to allow for users to interact with businesses. In 2014, they added a new feature that allowed for 10 different gender definitions, including cisgender and intersex, rather than the usual male and female. Also in 2007, it began to allow users to post attachments to the wall. Previous to this, you could only post text.
One of the biggest changes came about in 2006 when News Feed was announced, which shows profile changes, upcoming events, birthdays and more. In 2010, the News Feed patent was granted to Facebook.
In 2009, Facebook introduced user names, allowing for simpler URLs. In addition, It released mobile platforms of its service, and today 425 million users access Facebook through mobile devices in 60 countries on Earth today.
One of the most popular features is Photos, and today users can unlimited as many photos as they want.
Messaging came about in 2010 and described as the Gmail killer. Facebook allowed for any sort of messaging, as well as the sending of attachments through the platform. Messaging took off, but the e-mail feature did not and they removed it in 2014.
Talking about Facebook couldn’t be done without talking about Like. The Like button allows users to express their appreciation for content of their Facebook friends. Interestingly, a sheriff in Virginia fired employees who like the page of an adversary. A federal appeals court granted the protection of US citizens to like any page they choose and today, clicking Like for certain politicians is the same now as putting a sign on one’s lawn.