Facebook celebrates 10th birthday
February 4, 2014 | 10:19
Its co-founder, Mark zuckerberg, may not even be 30 yet but Facebook is already celebrating its 10th birthday, which it is celebrating in typical Zuckerberg style... with very little fanfare.
Launched on 4 February 2004, Facebook has grown to be the largest social network in the world, with over 1.23 billion users and, following its IPO in 2012, it is now turning a profit too, making $1.5 billion from its $7.87 billion revenue. After making very little money in its early years the company's revenue has roughly doubled every year for the past five years.
Only four years into its life Facebook had already made Zuckerberg a billionaire, with several of his co-founders, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes, also having since reached that mark.
Facebook's initial success was built on tapping into the curiosity and voyeuristic tendencies of all humans, creating a platform that allowed users to share their information and browse that of other users. As the site's semi-fictionalised biopic The Social Network puts it, the key finishing touch before the first version was ready to launch was adding a checkbox for what the person's relationship status was.
As the popularity of the site has grown its focus has shifted away from something of a glorified intra-university dating site to a global service for all ages. With the steady addition of features, from picture sharing to mobile apps, news feeds, timelines and more, there have been plenty of new features to keep old users returning and to tempt new users in.
However, recently there have been predictions that Facebook's rise is about to come to an end. Several studies tell of a drop in 18-24 year olds using the service as they look for - ironically - a messaging service that is more private and not populated by their parents. Other studies have compared it to an infectious disease that is about to be wiped out, with 80% of users leaving in the next three years.
However, Facebook has hit back at these claims, using the science of the latter study to prove that Princeton university would have no students by 2021 and the world would run out of air by 2060.
While it would be silly to predict anything that happens in 2060 we have a feeling Facebook will at least make it through its teenage years and ring in that big 20.