Facebook turns 10 (let us all blow out the candles)

There’s a big birthday today, and no it’s not ours, but thanks for asking. Rather, it’s one of the world’s most popular social networks, with Facebook hitting the big ten.

Originally created on February 4, 2004, the first Facebook site came to life in the dorm room of Mark Zuckerberg as he was attending Facebook, and was built to link and connect students at the university.

It first worked for Harvard students, and then eventually expanded to other schools in the area, before beginning to go nationwide, and then, eventually, internationally.

Now, Facebook is one of the largest social networks on the planet, with more than 1.2 billion active users monthly, and apps available on several platforms (pretty much every platform, in fact) to help users stay connected with friends, family, and random people they may not know but would like to.

Facebook back in 2004. Remember when websites looked like this?

“It’s been an incredible journey so far, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it,” said creator and Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.

“It’s been amazing to see how people have used Facebook to build a real community and help each other in so many ways.”

You might look at Facebook like it’s just an online social network that runs itself, but there is quite a lot going on at the company, with almost 7000 employees around the world working there, making it possible for 400 billion photos to be shared across the social network, the 6 billion daily “Likes” to happen, and the 7.8 trillion messages to be sent on the network over its existence.

Facebook has even made a dent on the way we speak, with common words and phrases being added to our language in the past ten years, including “poke,” “unfriending” (or “defriending” depending on what you prefer), and even the verb use of “Facebook.”

The Facebook of today looks much, much better than the one from 2004.

As for the future, Facebook won’t say much about where it’s going, with a representative for the Australian division saying that it’s “accessed by more than nine million Australians every day,” which is a lot when you realise that Australia has just under 23 million people.

“In the next decade, we have the opportunity and responsibility to connect everyone and to keep serving the community as best we can,” said Zuckerberg.

For Australia, this means a lot more Facebooking on the go (see, we just used the verb form of “Facebook” there), as this has become the most popular way for people to connect on the social network, and given how often we use mobile phones, will likely be the most popular way for a while to come.

The mobile app might currently be the most used way of connecting to the social network, but it didn't always look like it did. On the left shows what it look like in the good 'ol days, whereas the right is today.