Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Facebook turns 10

Facebook marked 10 years since it went live in a Harvard dorm room on February 4th, and its ambitious founder Mark Zuckerberg have managed to score quite a few touchdowns.

In 2004, the Internet was a different place. No YouTube, no Twitter, and fast-growing "Myspace" was just a year old. But February 4, 2004 saw the launch of the company that would go on to dominate the social web.
"The Facebook" started out as a modest project put together by Zuckerberg and his friends Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. The site went live on Feb. 4, 2004 and spread around the Harvard campus like wild fire. By March of that year, Zuckerberg had extended Facebook's reach to Yale, Stanford and Columbia. Shortly thereafter, all Ivy League schools, New York University, Boston University and MIT were included. Before 2004 had reached its end, Facebook had 1 million users. Now, 10 years later, Facebook is available worldwide and has some 1.2 billion active users.

After years of keeping Facebook a private company, Zuckerberg decided to take the company public.  In May 2012, Facebook had its IPO with stocks starting at $38. Initially, many investors and pundits thought that Facebook wouldn't make any money as a public company, but they were quickly proved wrong. Nearly two years later, Facebook is alive and well. Along the way Facebook has been involved in a lengthy legal fight between co-founders and embroiled in concerns over privacy, but Mr Zuckerberg remains positive. "It's been an incredible journey so far, and I'm so grateful to be a part of it," he said in a statement.

Among the growing challenges is the soaring popularity of smartphone apps that let people share images, videos, thoughts or observations at any moment. Social networking sites such as Pinterest, Twitter and SnapChat have sparked concerns that Facebook which set a social networking trend in motion may be losing its original teen base. A recent Princeton University study suggested that Facebook may lose around 80 per cent of its users over the next three years, a claim which was challenged by the social networking site. According to a recent report in iStrategyLabs, Facebook lost more than 3 million users in the age group of 13 and 17 between January 2011 and January 2014.