Launched in February 2004 as ‘The Facebook’, Facebook initially was opened for Harvard University. A month later, in March 2004 it stretched to other Ivy League Universities.
Facebook today is the most popular social media network. It successfully touched a million users by the end of 2004. Over the years, it has been thriving in the global market-leading world of social media. At present, Facebook has 2.45 billion active users and 8.4% year over year increase. In 2019, the company recorded a 9.4% year over year rise in daily active users. That is about 1.62 billion users.
Facebook shifted its operating services to California’s Silicon Valley after a year of its operations in 2005. Facebook’s journey from Harvard’s dormitory to the valley took a major leap within a short year of its advent. It all started with four young tech enthusiasts Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. Saverin looked after the business prospects, Moskovitz acted as the programmer, Andrew McCollum was the graphic illustrator, and Hughes helped in the web site promotion.
Businessperson Sean Parker went on to become the company’s president after Facebook’s incorporation in mid-2004. PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel became the first to invest in Facebook. In 2005, the company dropped ‘The’ from its name. They bought a $2000,000 worth of domain name for facebook.com. In 2005, Facebook’s worth reached $100 million. Soon software giant like Microsoft and Goldman Sachs invested in the company, taking it to new heights. Facebook is not just a social networking site, but also an advertisement and marketing building server. By 2012, it accrued over one billion users.
Interestingly, Facebook’s precursor ‘FaceMash’ was launched in 2003, developed by Zuckerberg.
While the inventions called in for troubles and controversies for violating the University’s policy, it sparked off the idea for today’s Facebook. In September 2004, it gave the world Facebook ‘wall’. A feature that allows users to post and receive pictures and messages. Facebook accessibility got easier in 2006. In April it was made available on mobiles, and then in December was made available for the world.
In 2014, February Facebook acquired WhatsApp Inc. for $19billion and In April 2012, it had already announced Instagram acquisition. It then announced Atlas acquisition in February 2013 and Oculus acquisition in March 2014. Presently, Zuckerberg is one of the youngest billionaires in the world, being the 7th richest person as of July 2020. He owns approximately $89 Billion. He also holds 60% voting rights in the company, owning a total of 375 million Facebook posts.
2018 was a tumultuous year for Facebook and Zuckerberg. After stock plunges, shareholders sued the company. Later, in April 2018 Zuckerberg testified before the congress that the company has shared users’ data with political consulting firms, Cambridge Analytica. FB COO Sheryl Sandberg also later testified in September 2018 along with Twitter.
In a report published in “The Guardian” in June 2020, it was reported that several companies have deferred marketing on Facebook. Facebook’s failure or lack of addressing hate speech on the social media network caused the decision. It led to a movement “Stop Hate for Profit” against Facebook, encouraging others to not use the platform for ad and marketing purposes. As per the 2019 ADL survey of Americans using the services, 55% of Americans reported hate and harassment on Facebook.
Now the company is facing new charges in India for not taking action on the site against hate speech. The row started after an article published in The Wall Street Journal. The allegations of facebook’s hate speech rules colliding with Indian politics have received major flak from all across.
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