Today in 2018, Facebook is absolutely huge. Facebook today is a complete reversal of what Facebook was like 14 years ago when Mark Zuckerberg started the original idea from his dorm room at Harvard University. Now today is February 4th, the fourteenth anniversary of when the first version was available so to mark the special occasion, we’ll now offer a brief history on how this platform came to be and what the company is working on today in 2018.
How Facebook came to be
Today Facebook is used all across the world by 2 billion users (as of June 2017) and is currently offered in every single country possible, aside from those who block the service for various reasons. But the actual beginnings were the idea of Mark when he was attending Harvard University in 2003. Around that time Mark wrote the program named ‘facemash’ which had no intentions of becoming any kind of social network, it was simply a ‘Hot or Not’ type website which would harvest the photos of the face book websites of each houses within the university. Face book pages were basically student directories, at the time each house had its own directory.
Almost as quickly as it was created, Zukerberg’s creation was shut down as it had crashed multiple Harvard servers, due to the huge popularity.
In January of 2004, Mark Zuckerberg created the very first version of what is known today as ‘Facebook’ but at that time it was named ‘thefacebook’.
In the early days, it was intended for use by Colleges and for students to communicate, so to start with the initial membership was limited to Harvard College students only and access was authenticated only if you had an email address from that college. Later in March, the universities of Columbia, Yale and Stanford were added, following that so were Ivy League colleges, Boston University, MIT and New York University.
In 2005, Facebook had an investment of $12.7 million from Accel Partners.
February 2012 is when Facebook filed for public offering and the share price started at US$38.
In March of 2012, Facebook made a large purchase which as we know today was one of the best deals in the tech industry. Facebook purchased Instagram for just $1 billion, the deal was finalised later in the same year in September. This deal was a good one, as even in 2016 Instagram was estimated to be worth around $50 billion.
This partnership does have some overlap with Facebook, but Instagram, as an entity is still being run as a separate company and service. The only overlap really does benefit advertisers, as one ad campaign can be designed and then cross promoted on Facebook and Instagram with ease.
Just two years later after Facebook acquired Instagram it snapped up WhatsApp for a huge $19.3 billion. Just 4 years down the line, there aren’t any visible ties with Facebook.
Today Facebook is huge, it currently has around 2 billion users, 25,000+ employees and $40 billion of revenue in 2017.