The Downfall of Facebook: From its Rise to Fall
For most people in the modern world, Facebook is a ubiquitous part of everyday life. We check it first thing in the morning when we wake up, usually before we’re out of bed. It’s often the last thing we see before we go to sleep. Overall, there are around 2.23 billion users on Facebook, with an average of five new accounts being created every second of every day.
Billions of content are shared every single day, which makes sense because one out of every five times that someone logs onto the Internet, it’s with the intention of using Facebook. With Facebook in the news more frequently these days ever since the revelation of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, it may be helpful to explore the origin story of Facebook and look at the events that led them to where they are now.
2004 – Facebook is founded
In February 2004, then-23-year-old Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg created a webpage called ‘The Facebook’, which was modeled on the hard copy student directory that freshmen students are given during their first weeks at college. This wasn’t Zuckerberg’s first attempt at a social networking site, but it was the most successful — within 24 hours, 1,200 Harvard students signed up for pages on his site, and within a month, half the school had followed suit. Within the year, the page had opened up membership to other Ivy League schools and post-secondary schools in Boston, then finally to all American universities and colleges.
2005 – Facebook.com is created
Around a year and a half after ‘The Facebook’ first launched, Zuckerberg and his partners bought the domain facebook.com for $200,000, and a month later, opened membership up to students from American high schools. By September 2006, a year after the domain name was purchased, membership was open to anyone with a registered email address. This was also the first time that advertisers started offering real sums of money for a buy-out — Yahoo and Google both offered bids of around $2 billion, but Zuckerberg refused to sell.
2007 – The Facebook Case
Soon after Facebook was launched in 2004, disgruntled former employers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and Divya Narendra sued Zuckerberg, claiming that he copied code for Facebook from their earlier site, ConnectU, while working for them as a computer programmer. The case was dismissed without a ruling in 2007, and later became the basis for the 2010 film The Social Network, starring Jesse Eisenberg as Zuckerberg. Around the time that the case was dismissed, Facebook hit 30 million members, and launched a number of interesting features, like free classified ads, and gave users the ability to develop their own apps, like Scrabble.