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Facebook Memories: Five Of The Social Media Giant’s Biggest Milestones As It Celebrates 15 Years


Facebook forever changed the way we interact when it launched fifteen years ago this week. In the years since February 4, 2004, the social media platform has become a life-changer for many of its more than two billion monthly users. Its impact includes connecting long lost friends and classmates, igniting business relationships, and helping people fall in love. All while earning billions of dollars in revenue. Below are some key milestones from the social media behemoth’s first decade-and-a-half.

Milestone One: Facebook Launched

Famously developed in founder Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room, Facebook was launched in February of 2004 to connect students. Initially titled Thefacebook.com, it was an electronic version of a paper class directory that was popular on a number of campuses. Within a year the site had a million users, roughly the population of San Jose, California.

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Milestone Two: Facebook Adds a Like Button

In the few years after its launch, Facebook widened its audience to extend beyond college students, added capacity for users to share photos, and added chat capabilities. But the 2009 addition of the “like” button was a game changer. Likes evolved into a key data metric and the site became known for the function’s blue and white thumbs up icon.

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Milestone Three: Facebook Re-launches the Groups Function

While Facebook is known for connecting its users through the internet, the site refined this capability when it re-launched its groups function in 2010. The new function enabled people to interact with a set of other users more privately. New groups were formed around the common interests of self-selected or invited users.

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Milestone Four: Facebook’s IPO

Facebook held its initial public offering in May of 2012. More than 421 million shares were offered for $38 each, earning more than $16 billion and making it the largest tech IPO in history at that time. Facebook continued to see success when later that year it registered a billion monthly worldwide users.

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Milestone Five: Addressing User Concerns

Tied to several dates, this milestone centers around the concept of addressing user concerns. These started to surface in 2015 when it became known that Cambridge Analytica bought user data against Facebook rules and didn’t delete it as promised. Concerns continued with questions about ways Russia may have used Facebook to influence the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. Facebook has been actively working to address these kinds of concerns since they began to surface.

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