Feb, 2022


Who would believe that an adventure in the university dorm room would give rise to the internet giant in history? Who would think that a website created unintentionally would change online social interaction forever? Well, no one, because even the founders may not have dreamed of it.

Today the 4th of February, Facebook turns 18 years old. Eighteen years ago, A Harvard computer programmer and a psychology student named Mark Zuckerberg and his mates: Andrew McCollum, and Eduardo Saverin, launched a website that became the world's most popular social networking.



The Kickoff


Edward Zuckerberg taught his son Mark computer programming from an early age. When he reached his 11s, Edward hired a software developer to help Mark improve his skills. After a while, Mark rewarded his father by creating Zucknet, a programme that helped his father's customers contact his dental clinic remotely.

Mark headed to Harvard University in 2002. He chose psychology as his primary field while taking computer science lessons. In October 2003, Mark became the campus celebrity by creating Facemash, a website that allowed students to rate the attractiveness of each other. The website has witnessed more than 22.000 photo views almost overnight, and over a thousand students have registered. However, Facemash was short-lived; it got shut down within a few days. Harvard Administration Board accused Mark of violating university security and individual privacy by hacking and copying students' I.D. pictures. He even faced expulsion, but the board let him stay and dropped all the charges against him.

Facemash was the spark that gave birth to TheFacebook. It was launched by Mark Zuckerberg, Andrew McCollum, and Eduardo Saverin to allow Harvard students to connect. Within 24 hours of existence, the website became a community of 1500 Harvard university students. First, it was made for them only; however, it soon spread to other college campuses. By the end of 2004, membership was open to nearly all universities globally; therefore, the site reached its 1 million users.



The first Facebook users 


According to the findings, after Zuckerberg and Hughes (Zuckerberg's friend and co-founder of Facebook), the following few accounts were as follows:


· Dustin Moskovitz - He helped found Facebook and was roommates with Mark. 

· Arie Hasit - Arie was the first non-founder account and was friends with Chris Hughes. 

· Marcel Georgés Laverdet II - Marcel was friends with early Facebookers and Facebook founders.

· Soleio Cuervo - He was friends with other early Facebook members like George Laverdet, above. 

· Chris Putnam - Chris was also friends with other early Facebookers. 

· Andrew McCollum - Andrew was one of Mark Zuckerberg's classmates. 

· Colin Kelly - Colin knew many other early facebookers. 

· Mark Kaganovich - Mark also knew many other early facebookers. 



Facebook through the decades 


TheFacebook was an instant hit; therefore, Mark left Harvard and moved to California to rule his kingdom. Indeed, he succeeded in securing significant investments; for instance, the Co-founder of PayPal, Peter Thiel, invested an amount of $500,000. 

August 2005, TheFacebook dropped the "The" and kept Facebook only, and that was after purchasing the domain name facebook.com for $200,000. In the following month, high school students had access to Facebook; it also extended to employees of companies like Apple and Microsoft. 

By September 2006, everyone more than 13 years old and has a valid email address could join Facebook. 

In 2007, Facebook introduced the group pages feature for business deals and officially opened the Marketplace.

In December 2009, Facebook became the most popular social platform in the world. With 350million registered users. 

In February 2010, Facebook launched Facebook Zero, which allows users to access the platform without mobile data. In the same year, likes, comments, and photo tagging were available on the platform. 

In October 2010, a movie named 'The Social Network' was released and painted the creation of Facebook, which made $225.

By the end of 2010, Facebook became the 3rd largest web company in the U.S., sitting behind Google and Amazon. 

In 2011, the company witnessed one billion photos and 1 trillion page views. In the same year, Messenger was released as an independent application. 

In 2014, Whatsapp joins Facebook after an acquisition deal of $19 billion.Safety Check is launched withing the same year.

Three years later, Facebook created Facebook lite, which can be acceded with fewer data.

In 2017, Facebook reaches 2 billion active users per month.

2018 is considered as the worst year for the company. It is the year of The Cambridge Analytical Scandal. It was realised that there was data gathered through a personality quiz which aimed to manipulate the US elections.

In the same year, the famous Hack took place, and 50 million users lost access to their accounts and requested to log in.

In 2021, Facebook started planning to develop an ‘instagram for kids’


No history without controversy 


Multiple lawsuits were against Facebook. The primary contention that has always followed Facebook is fake news which started during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Rumours claimed that Facebook helped Russia influence the election results through paid ads. 

There was also the famous problem with Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra, the founders of the site ConnectU sued Mark and accused him of stealing their concept and copying their idea; they have also filed a lawsuit against him, which was settled out of court in March 2007.

The most dangerous lawsuit that Facebook has experienced in the U.S. Congress call regarding the hack the company experienced in 2018. When 50 million people were affected, their sensitive data and account information were at risk. Mark testified in Facebook's defence, stating: 'It's clear now that we didn't do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm as well.'

Facebook has faced plenty of accusations that were able to damage the company's reputation. 

Mark once confessed: "Well, I never started this to build a company. Ten years ago, you know, I was just trying to help connect people at colleges and a few schools. That was a basic need, where I looked around at the Internet, and there were services for a lot of things that you wanted. You could find music; you could find news; you could find information, but you couldn't find and connect with the people that you cared about, which as people is actually the most important thing. So that seemed like a pretty big hole that needed to get filled."

Indeed, Facebook exploded beyond all Mark's expectations and ours too. A lot was achieved in less than 20 years with no sign of progress slowing. Facebook today is considered one of the significant forces of the Internet, and it continues to dominate the social media market.



Transat Telecom Blog Team Auteur

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