Happy Birthday Facebook

This week earmarked the ten year anniversary since the prolific social network, Facebook, was born in a budding dorm of Harvard University. Mark Zuckerberg could have been presented with the biggest cake in the world; if there was a candle for every user there would be 1.2 billion of them.

He wouldnt need to blow any wishes away after reporting record revenues of $2.5 billion dollars for the past year, hes already living his dream. But would he have even had the slightest thought his success could reach these highs back in 2004? Back in the age old days of Bebo & MySpace, this would have been seen as another feeble attempt to shift power.

Ongoing Success

The power certainly shifted quickly; it took only 10 months to reach 1 million users after expanding to Stanford, Columbia & Yale Universities. Only 12 months later (Dec 2005), this figure increase by over 500%. The wild explosion of this young social network took many people by surprise.

Fast forward 12 months (Dec 2006) and a further $27.5 million investment and the user profile of Facebook had increased by another 118% to 12 Million users. What was an explosion just went nuclear and the stats just kept on climbing, and still do.

Four months later (Apr 2007), 20 million active users. 6 months (Oct 2007) later, 50 million active users. The power at this point was clear to see and after launching Marketplace listings in May of that year, Facebook slowly started to become what would be one of the most profitable businesses on the planet. November of 2007 also saw the birth of Facebook Ads, the cornerstone of their profitable success.

Dust Never Settles

Doubling again by August of 2008 they reached the 100 million milestone of active users on their social network, further being doubled to 200 million by April 2009. At this point, Facebook received its biggest investment to date with Digital Sky Technologies offering $200 million for preferred stock, with a net value of $10 billion.

February of 2010 brought along the 400 millionth user to the biggest social network on the planet, making sites such as Myspace look prehistoric.

Adapt To Survive

With continued growth over the past 4 years, Facebook has adapted what they can offer to users with the purchase of other companies such as Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion dollars. Facebook didnt need to bolster its photography database, they just brought users a new way of sharing content.

Mr Zuckerberg and the boffins under his wing have managed to manipulate the entire industry by adopting the aspects of popular trends of other social networks. For example, adopting the hashtag & trends themes of Twitter and trying to stomp out Snapchat with photo application Poke.

They even released their own Messenger app to rival WhatsApp & Kik, an app which spent time at the top of the App Store back in December.

They continued to shape & adapt what users can offer to each other with the implementation of Places, borrowed from Foursqaure; introducing their unique timeline feature, one of their most radical re-designs to date. Now you can even state your mood feeling dizzy.

Crest of a Wave

But their tenth birthday celebrations have been marred by gathering uncertainty over the future of the social network from analysts around the world.

Dr Markos Zachariadis, an assistant professor at the Warwick Business School, has researched the company and innovation in social networks reporting that Facebook could be in danger of being pushed out by other networks. For example, Twitter & Snapchat offer much simpler methods to users for sharing content and this could be the trend in years to come.

Will it last another ten years? Lots of sceptics & analysts seem to think that their dominance is dated, that their hold on the world of social media is slipping. I dont think Mr Zuckerberg will mind these predictions for the time being.

Facebook has evolved and adapted over the years with ingenuity, innovation and marketability. With $2.5 billion in the pocket, Twitter reporting losses of profits & share price and the 10th birthday celebrations all coming together in the same week; he must have a very big smile on his face.

Happy Birthday Facebook. Happy Birthday Mr Zuckerberg.

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