How Facebook Has Grown
Facebook has now been around for almost a decade, and in that time the social networking behemoth has undergone virtually countless facelifts. Let’s take a trip down Facebook memory lane and to see how it has evolved over the years.
Known as ‘TheFacebook’ here, Facebook began life in 2004 when it was only available to Harvard students.
A screenshot of Facebook from way back in 2005
This is how Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s profile looked in 2006 after the service had seen its first major redesign.
By 2008, Facebook had been opened worldwide, and a new, more stylish design had been built into it.
By 2009, Facebook users were permitted to tell the world what was on their mind, after the mandatory ‘is’ was removed from the status box.
Profile pages were tweaked yet again in 2010, with more facilities being added all the time. In this era, ‘poking’ was still commonplace.
Before long, companies, brands and figures were given the chance to promote themselves, arguably taking them closer to their audiences.
A real-time news feed was added to the site in 2011, giving Facebook more of a ‘live’ feel.
Video-calling was added to Facebook’s chat facilities in 2011 too, as services such as Skype became more popular.
The divisive ‘Timeline’ feature was added in this era too, allowing users to tell their story through social media, but also making it easier for others to dig into their potentially embarrassing Facebook history.
From 2011, users could subscribe to the feeds of others, even if they weren’t friends with them, as long as the people behind the page hadn’t disabled this, prompting comparisons with Twitter. This was controversial too, as many privacy-loving users found that several settings had been changed ‘behind their backs’, with many not realising that they would need to act to maintain the line between ‘public’ and ‘private’.
As more and more people started to access Facebook via smartphones and tablets, the company appeased its mobile users by offering around 500 apps. Most of these came in the form of games.
Facebook acquired the innovative photo service Instagram in 2012, paying a higher-than-expected price for it, saying “we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.”
Finally, in 2013 Facebook introduced Graph Search or “social search” enabling users to find out more information about not only their friends but friends-of-friends too.