The history of Facebook: when it was born and how it became one of the most famous social media in the world


Here is a brief summary of how the most popular social network in the world was born and grew

Is there really anyone out there who still doesn’t know about Facebook? I can hardly believe it. However, it is possible that not everyone who knows about the existence of this social network knows its history. Its foundation was even told in a film called “The Social Network” , but not everyone knows the various stages that have accompanied this company up to the present day.

In the next lines you will discover when the Facebook parable began, in what circumstances the idea of ​​the social network we know today developed and what are the most significant events in its history.

When Facebook was born

When and how Facebook was born

When in October 2003 the then young Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg hacked into his university’s database to acquire student photos and use them for his Facemash site, he probably didn’t know that this was only the first chapter of a long and fascinating. Facemash was supposed to be a simple game in which American university students had the opportunity to vote for their favorite photograph between two randomly shown by the system.

Following the first accesses, which were not few, the Harvard site crashed due to data overload; the university closed Facemash and suspended Zuckerberg who, however, based on the developments of that experience, had an idea destined to radically change his life. In fact, a few months later, in January 2004, Mark registered the domain and created a site where Harvard students could communicate and socialize.

The success was almost immediate and within a few weeks the site was opened to students from other institutions (first Stanford, Columbia and Yale, later MIT, Boston University and Boston College). By the end of the first semester of its founding year, became accessible to all college students in the US and Canada . Which convinced Zuckerberg and the other founding partners (Andrew McCollum, Eduardo Saverin, Chris Hughes and Dustin Moskowitz) to take a very important step.

Read also: Facebook becomes Meta: what is the meaning of Zuckerberg’s choice (and what will change)

From The Facebook to Facebook: the stages of success

To better manage the progressive success of the site, due to the continuous increase in subscribers, Zuckerberg and company decided to found a company, Facebook Inc. Sean Parker, already famous for having founded Napster, was placed as president of the company, and less than a year after its birth Facebook began to attract important investors such as Peter Thiel (one of the founders of PayPal), who put half a million dollars on the table for secure 10.2% of the company shares.

Subsequently, the value of the company grew dramatically so much so that in 2007, shortly before its definitive boom, it attracted the attention of Microsoft which had to invest 240 million dollars to grab 1.6% of the shares. Between 2007 and 2009 Facebook achieved enormous success even outside the USA and began to close the balance sheet in the black. With an ever-increasing number of users and growing popularity, Facebook surpassed MySpace in 2008 to become, in fact, the most successful social network . 

In 2011 the value of Facebook Inc. settled at around 50 billion dollars. But the best was yet to come.

Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook between stock market and scandals

2012 is a very important year for Facebook: in the wake of seemingly unstoppable success, Zuckerberg decides to take the plunge and enter Wall Street . And he does it in style because on the day of its launch on the stock exchange, Facebook sells 16 billion shares, becoming the company debuting on Wall Street with the highest valuation ever (104 billion dollars).

In the same year Facebook inc. acquires Instagram for just under $1 billion. The success that this social network will achieve in the following years will amply repay Zuckerberg’s effort, which does not seem to want to stop. In 2014, in fact, the entrepreneur announced the acquisition of the WhatsApp messaging app. 

Facebook’s growth continues but in 2018 Zuckerberg is forced to face a rather important scandal: that of Cambridge Analytica . The breach of Facebook’s security and the consequent acquisition of user data by this English company puts the Menlo Park giant in serious difficulty and embarrassment, so much so that its founder is forced to testify before the United States Congress to clarify Facebook’s estrangement from the facts . Despite the enormous media impact, this affair stimulated Facebook to improve its services.

Read also: How the Facebook algorithm works and how to bypass it in 2022

Facebook becomes Meta

In the present, Facebook still exists as a social network but no longer as a company. In fact, since October 2021, Facebook Inc. has changed its name and become “Meta” , in reference to the corporate path undertaken by Mark Zuckerberg who has big news in mind for the future.

The creation of the Facebook Metaverse will change the way we understand and use the social network, which will become increasingly inclusive and engaging thanks to virtual reality and other features based entirely on user experience.

In conclusion

Since it was born, the social network par excellence has experienced impressive growth and has been able to overcome difficult moments. Not surprisingly, it is still the most popular social media in the world today . For this reason, including it in a social media marketing strategy is a prerogative of millions of companies around the world. 

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