September 25, 2020

BY RANDI CLARKEFacebook

For many years now, people have been trying to keep in touch with relatives, old high school romances and long-lost best friends. Up until 10 years ago, you required an e-mail address, home address or a land line number to keep in contact. Then along came Facebook.

According to www.wikipedia.com, the website was based off of its predecessor, Facemash, a site launched on Oct. 28. 2003 and created by Mark Zuckerberg, along with his Harvard University roommates, Andrew McCollum, Chris Hughes and Dustin Moskovitz.

It was set up as a type of “hot or not” game for Harvard students and allowed its visitors to compare two student pictures side-by-side, letting them decide who was “hot” and who was “not.” It was shut down by the Harvard executives a few days after it launched.

In January 2004, Zuckerberg began writing the code for a new website and on Feb  4. 2004, he, McCollum, Moskovitz, Hughes and Eduardo Saverin launched the website called Thefacebook. It was originally located at www.thefacebook.com (which now redirects you to the current address of www.facebook.com).

Zuckerberg’s intention was to create a universal website that could contact people around the university. Within 24 hours of launching, Thefacebook had between 1,200 and 1,500 registrants.

Membership on the popular website was initially restricted to students of Harvard University but was expanded to Stanford, Columbia and Yale in March 2004. Expansion continued to all Ivy League and Boston-area schools until it gradually reached most universities in Canada and the United States. Then, in 2006, it was finally available everywhere.

Facebook’s timeline (much like the timelines currently on people’s own main profile pages) includes some major milestones in its 10 years. For example, on Dec. 30. 2004, it acquired its one millionth registered user. It also launched its photos feature in October 2005 while the ability to tag your friends in those pictures was added in December of that same year. Its News Feed was created on Sept. 6. 2006. In September 2009, Facebook announced a feature where people could tag their friends in their statuses and comments. In June 2010, Facebook’s famous “Like” button became available in the comments section. In January 2011 the company was worth $50 billion. Facebook was made accessible to the iPad as an app in October 2011 and reached one billion users in October 2012. In June 2013, Facebook announced that you will be able to use hashtags in your statuses, much like another popular website, Twitter.

Facebook is the most popular social networking site in the world, however, it still receives limited popularity in countries such as Japan, where domestically created social networks are still largely preferred.

Due to the rising popularity of Facebook, its users have grown quite substantially over the years starting from one million in December 2004 to over one billion.

Even more interesting is the age range of Facebook users. With more and more people from an older generation joining Facebook, teens and young adults are shying away from using the social networking site and moving toward Twitter due to the fear of being friended by their parents.

“I don’t know that I see them moving from Facebook to Twitter, but you have a lot of other social platforms that they’re excited to experiment with, like Snapchat or Instagram,” said Lydia Frey, a second-year Conestoga advertising and marketing student. “I definitely have seen those platforms become more popular among a younger generation.”

The numbers are still pretty high though. A new survey conducted by Pew Research Center, an American think tank organization that provides information on social issues among other things, shows that 73 per cent of Facebook’s users are kids ages 12-17.

With Facebook now 10 years old, Zuckerberg told CNN on Aug. 21, 2013 he isn’t done planning to connect five billion people from around the world.

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