“The Facebook” was launched by Mark Zuckerberg in his Harvard University dorm room on 4 February 2004, dropping “The” the following September to become the social platform that has gone from strength to strength over the last ten years.
Celebrating its birthday today, Facebook is launching A Look Back, a feature that allows users to see a personalised movie or collection of photos with their biggest moments since they joined Facebook. Here are its key events:
1. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was a billionaire by the age of 23. His personal wealth is now estimated to be around $19bn. He was the US’s biggest charity donor in 2013, but is known for his controversial views on privacy, and has been caught up in various legal disputes with former colleagues.
2. Harvard students Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss accused Zuckerberg of inetentionally misleading them into believing that he would help them build a social network called HarvardConnection.com. they claimed he was instead using their ideas to use a computing product. They later filed a lawsuitagainst Zuckerberg, suvbsequently settling for 1.2m shares (worth $300m at Facebook’s IPO)
3. One of the popular applications on Facebook is Photos, which launched in October 2005. Users can upload albums of photos, tag friends helped by facial technology, and comment on photos.
4. Facebook for Mobile launched in 2006. The social network spent its first year as a public company struggling to work out the best way to monetise mobile users effectively
5. Facebook introduced the Like button in February 2009, allowing users to express their appreciation of content such as status updates, comments, photos and advertisements
7. In December 2011, a flaw in Facebook has granted prying users access to supposedly private photographs, include that of Mark Zuckerberg.
8. Facebook held an initial public offering on May 17, 2012, negotiating a share price of $38. The company was valued at $104bn, the largest valuation to date for a newly listed company. However, the value of the stock declined rapidly, and by the end of May 2012, it had lost over a quarter of its starting value.
9. Facebook bought photo-sharing app Instagram in April 2012 for approximately $1bn. In 2013, Instagram grew by 23pc, while Facebook, as the mother company, only grew by 3pc. In June 2013, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Instagram would allow users to take and share video.
10. In September 2011, Facebook overhauled the design of its website and introduced Timeline, which groups together all publicly viewed messages, commenst and photographs by date. The design was controversial at the time but users quickly got used to the layout.