Highs and lows as the social media giant reaches an important milestone.
Created by a group of friends in a college dorm room, Facebook first went online fifteen years ago this week.
It may seem to some of us like a lifetime ago.
It’s next to impossible that even a visionary like co-founder Mark Zuckerberg could have foreseen the impact – and controversy – that the experiment originally known as “Facemash” would have on our lives and the world around us.
Starting out as an online network linking students of Yale, Columbia, and Stanford, the site would go on to attract over 2 billion active users who use it for everything from getting back in touch with old friends to organizing events, searching for work, and documenting their own life story.
In 2004, Zuckerberg left Harvard to work on Facebook full-time from a rented house in Palo Alto, California.
These fast-moving and turbulent early days of the company are brilliantly documented in the 2010 hit film “The Social Network.”
By September 2004, Facebook had 1 million active users. The following year, Zuckerberg turned down a $1 billion bid from Yahoo to acquire the project.
With $16 billion raised when Facebook finally went public in 2012, he was undoubtedly right to do so. Last year, the company boasted gross revenue of $40.7 billion and total assets of $84.6 billion.
Yet more recently, Facebook has become mired in controversy following complaints over user privacy and its murky role in the 2016 US election.
Furthermore, the site appears to be bleeding users with Pew research claiming that 42% of users stepped back from daily engagement last year.
Here is a timeline of the biggest moments in Facebook’s 15-year history.