For me, the year 2004 seems like a lifetime ago, when I was a high school senior dreaming of what my future had in store. It is likely that Mark Zuckerberg was imagining vast possibilities as well that year, only instead of how his life would play out, he was more interested in how his just launched site, TheFacebook.com, would perform.
After teaming up with Sean Parker, founder of illegal downloading music site, Napster, Zuckerberg immediately changed the name of his social media platform to just plain “Facebook,” and since then it has taken off like a jet.
While there were only one million users of this site at the end of 2004, that number expanded to 20 million by April 2007, and the end of 2012 revealed that are now approximately 1.01 billion Facebook users a month.
As a student at the well-known Ivy League giant, Harvard, Facebook’s creator originally formed the site as a way for students to interact with one another and even find fellow classmates. After its official debut, the platform gained followers quick and was soon being leveraged by students in other prestigious universities including Stanford, Yale and Columbia.
And if having a billion people posting, commenting and liking things on the social media site wasn’t enough, the movie made about it named “The Social Network” is. The film was made to show how Facebook got its roots and won the Academy Award for original screenplay by Aaron Sorkin.
Staring Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg , Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker and Andrew Garfield as Eduardo Saverin (the original CFO and cash-heavy friend of Mark), the movie highlighted how the website could have been shut down after a lawsuit was filed by the Winklevoss twins who claimed it was originally their idea.
While in the end we know how the case played out – the twins reportedly receiving $65 million from what is touted as one of the most successful businesses this century – Zuckerberg hasn’t let this loss affect him, instead focusing his energy on enhancing his always growing baby.
Through continuously adding capabilities created to make the user experience even richer – such as testing out new emoticons showing what users are feeling when they update their status; always revamping its mobile app which can now send voice messages, record and share videos from within the application; and connecting with your favorite places using the “Nearby” tab – Facebook probably won’t be going anywhere but up for the foreseeable future.
Moreover, did you know you have the ability to buy gift cards right through the social networking site? Buying both physical and virtual gifts alike for anyone who deserves them is a snap. If you can’t figure out the perfect gift for somebody, you can also select to order them a gift card so they can pick out exactly what they want from select retailers and restaurants including Target, Jamba Juice, Sephora and Louis Vuitton.
So, to a platform that has completely revolutionized the way in which we stay in touch with colleagues, friends and family, a big happy birthday Facebook from me to you.
Edited by Braden Becker