February 4, 2019, marked the 15th anniversary of the beginning of Facebook as a social media platform. Facebook has made a significant impact on our modern culture, changing the way we communicate with people far away, nearby and those we’ve known from long ago. Some would say it’s also changed the nature of what we share with strangers and how freely we are willing to open ourselves to personal scrutiny.

Facebook Through the Years

Facebook has gone through many phases and iterations, delighting and frustrating users with every change or update. Some updates have added welcome features and taken others. Check out this timeline of Facebook development through the years:

  • 2004 - While a sophomore at Harvard University, Mark Zuckerberg launched “The Facebook” from his dorm room. It started out as a site to check out and connect to other college students.
  • 2005 - Facebook expands to 21 universities and some high schools across the US, UK, and a few other countries.
  • 2006 - Expanded usage for worldwide consumption for anyone with an email address, ages 13 and up.
  • 2007 - Facebook groups and pages added, mostly used by businesses and organizations. Myspace is the dominant social media site with 112 million users. Facebook is in second place with roughly half that number.
  • 2008 - International headquarters established in Dublin, Ireland.
  • 2010 - Facebook selects/hires users for beta-testing.
  • 2011 - Facebook becomes the largest online host for photos. Beginning of high percentage of Facebook mobile phone usage.
  • 2012 - Yahoo sues Facebook over patents for ads, privacy tools, and specific social networking utility. Facebook also becomes a publicly-owned company. Facebook buys Instagram to help develop its technology for mobile devices. Facebook becomes the largest social media site. Myspace is virtually gone.
  • 2014 - Facebook buys WhatsApp. This improves its technology for games and apps within the platform. A decrease in younger Facebook users, who favor apps like Instagram and Twitter, gives rise to older Facebook users.
  • 2016 - Amid the US elections, concerns arise regarding privacy and security of user information and selective censorship. Facebook deals with the issue of having the power to influence news and shape public opinion, rather than simply acting as a facilitator for communication.
  • 2018 - Mark Zuckerberg goes before Congress to answer questions regarding accusations of creating algorithms to censor content not favored by his company. By the end of the year, Facebook has over 2.32 billion active users.

Facebook has brought people from our past back into our lives and connects family and friends living far from each other with current events, photos, and casual daily observations. It’s also given a platform to businesses, politics and social causes. Happy Birthday to Facebook. Love it or hate it, our culture has been transformed by it.

If you need help upping your Facebook game (or other social media platforms), we recommend attending one of our free workshops! Or, as always, please feel free to contact the Skol Marketing team by clicking here.