Social media giant Facebook went online as a dorm room experiment on February 4, 2004. The website ushered people into a new wave of social media and became a sensation within months of its launch, clocking 1 million users in its inception year alone.
Months before the launch of Facebook, 19-year-old Mark Zuckerberg developed a website called ‘Facemash’ from his dorm room in Harvard by hacking university student database.
The success of Fashmash among the Harvard students in late 2003 prompted Zuckerberg to register the URL www.thefacebook.com. The website was launched as ‘The Facebook’ the following month and soon became popular around the university campus. It was only in August 2014 that it dropped prefix ‘The’ from its masthead. As Facebook turns 17, let us look at its transformation over the years.
In its initial years, Facebook lacked some of the most basic features that we today recognise the social media with, such as the tagging option, newsfeed, making an account by email, Facebook pages, and much more. The photo sharing and tagging features were introduced in late 2005, while the newsfeed was launched nearly a year later.
The following year came Facebook pages and Facebook ads, all while its popularity soared across the world. The company doubled its users to 12 million within 3 months in 2016 after it allowed users to make an account using their email IDs. The like button, the core feature of any social media today, was introduced to Facebook only in 2009.
In October 2012, the Company registered 1 billion users worldwide. A year prior to this, it had acquired image sharing platform Instagram, and three years later purchased popular messaging app WhatsApp. The website itself kept transforming during these years, introducing safety check in 2014, and reactions two years later.