Facebook is 20 years old, this is how a college student's project became the world's largest social network

Kathmandu. 20 years ago, on February 4, 2004, a project started by college students in America, 'The Facebook' has become the most popular social network in the world today.

Facebook, which was born as a platform to connect college students in a network, has brought many changes in the meantime. Here's a detailed discussion of how Facebook has changed in 20 years:

– Facebook Public

Facebook was first launched on February 4, 2004 under the name 'The Facebook' by Harvard University students. This platform, which started as a college project, gradually spread across the world through other colleges, America.

In the beginning, the name was 'The Facebook' but in 2005, 'The' was removed from its name. Then Facebook.com became available to everyone from September 2006.

– Accused of stealing ideas

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been accused of stealing the idea of ​​Facebook's Harvard friends Cameron Winklevoss, Taylor Winklevoss and Divya Narendra. According to them, Mark Zuckerberg stole the idea in the name of helping to create a social network called Harvard Connection.

There was also a case against Zuckerberg on the same issue. The case was settled in 2008.

– Facebook as a public company

In 2012, Facebook became a public company from a private company. At that time, Facebook became the largest IPO company in US history.

The company had announced 42 crore 12 lakh 33 thousand 615 shares. For which the price per share was fixed at 38 dollars.

– Instagram purchases

Around 2012, the social network Instagram became very viral. This platform became very popular after celebrities created accounts and started posting their photos. It became a suitable medium for those who do not like Facebook.

Facebook bought Instagram for a billion dollars in 2012 to bring it under its control. Although Instagram is a part of Facebook, it was started to operate independently. Later, a feature was introduced where the same post can be shared on both Facebook and Instagram, and users of both platforms can talk through Messenger.

Recently, Instagram reels have started showing on Facebook. However, the company has already closed the feature that allows you to chat with Instagram users from Messenger.

– WhatsApp purchases

Facebook had already purchased Instagram, which emerged as a photo sharing platform. Meanwhile, the platform's messenger service also became equally popular. However, it did not have the feature of being able to talk to anyone based on the phone number.

In 2014, WhatsApp, which has a feature that allows you to send instant messages based on your phone number, was garnering a lot of buzz.

Facebook bought the platform for 19 billion dollars at the same time, the company claims that the same way Instagram is operating independently, WhatsApp is also operating independently. However, Facebook has integrated WhatsApp in various ways.

-Oculus VR

Facebook acquired Oculus VR, another virtual reality startup, in 2014. For that, the company spent two billion dollars. Facebook bought the company to maintain its dominance not only in social networks but also in the field of virtual reality.

– Facebook user studies

In 2014, a controversy surfaced that Facebook had conducted a 'mood influence study' in the news feed. For that, the company filtered posts in the feed of 689,000 users and analyzed them.

Facebook claimed that it did so to experiment with how users take positive or negative content seen on Facebook.

– Crossing the one billion user mark

In 2015, Facebook announced that it had crossed one billion users.

– Like and other buttons as well

Before 2015, only like button was given on Facebook. Like the love button on X and Instagram, there was only a like button on Facebook. However, in 2015, the company included love, wow, laughing emoji, sad and angry emoji as buttons to help express emotions.

-Cambridge Analytica scandal

The Cambridge Analytica scandal is considered to be the biggest controversy faced by Facebook. An investigation showed that Facebook had handed over users' personal data to a data analysis firm without their permission.

According to various reports, Facebook sold the data of 87 million users. For that, the UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) paid a fine of five lakhs.

– Data leak of 30 million users

In September 2018, Facebook said that the accounts of around 50 million users had been compromised. However, later that number was reduced to three crores.

– misleading news

Like other online media, Facebook is also at the top of the media for spreading misleading news. Facebook has been accused of not being able to stop misleading and false information spreading from its platform.

Especially during elections, natural calamities, and conflicts, a lot of misleading news is spread from this platform. Even now, scammers use this platform a lot to spread misleading news. However, recently Facebook has also introduced the facility of 'fact check'.

If any news is known to be misleading, the fact is checked. If the fact check is correct, the page is taken down as a policy violation.

– Increasing pressure from rival platforms

From the beginning, Facebook has been facing intense pressure from rival platforms. That's why there are accusations that Facebook is buying the platform itself to outpace its rivals.

Lately, short video platform TikTok has emerged as Facebook's biggest competitor. Facebook's main competitor is Tiktok, which is popular among the youth. According to various reports, the number of active youth users on Facebook is very low.

At the beginning of 2022, Mark Zuckerberg publicly informed that the number of active users has decreased in the history of Facebook. After that, Tiktok was considered as a competitor of Facebook.

Facebook's parent company Meta introduced the Reels feature on Instagram and Facebook after seeing Tiktok becoming popular among the youth. Similarly, there are allegations that Meta has copied Snapchat's stories feature.

Recently, the company brought a social network called Threads to compete with the social network X (earlier Twitter). However, it has not gained popularity like other platforms. Apart from that, the paid blue tick feature introduced by X has also been made available by Meta on Facebook and Instagram.

– Gambling of the Metaverse

In 2021, Mark Zuckerberg changed the name of his main company from 'Facebook' to Meta. However, there are many reasons behind keeping goals. Some have argued that Mark Zuckerberg kept the name of the company Meta because the stain left behind the name 'Facebook' will not be erased.

However, Zuckerberg says that he named the company Meta because the future YouTube belongs to the metaverse (virtual reality). Two years after the company came up with the Metaverse concept, there are small signs that the Metaverse is becoming mainstream on the Internet. Recently, after Apple released its virtual reality device, the debate about virtual reality has increased.

But the report shows that Mark Zuckerberg is constantly losing money after getting into the concept of Meta. Zuckerberg, who was once in the top 3rd position on the list, reached the top 29. That's why some people say that Mark Zuckerberg gambled the amount invested in Meta. However, recently he is in the top four positions of Forbes with 167 billion dollars.

– Job cuts

Lately, job cuts in the technology sector have become commonplace. Due to the growing use of artificial intelligence, giant technology companies have started cutting jobs. META also announced that it cut the most jobs from the end of 2022 to March 2023.

The company laid off 87,000 employees from around the world in four months. A few weeks later, 10,000 Hana were removed. Meta had to face this problem as rival companies grew and the income from advertising decreased.

– Recommendation Algorithm

Facebook seems to have adopted the same modality as TikTok's algorithm can attract users. As a result, the post richness of most users on Facebook is increasing recently.

Meta has brought the facility to make Facebook page as profile and account as professional account. Users can also earn from this. The option to earn income is not given in all countries.

– Facebook getting back to basics

Lately, Facebook and Meta have faced problems like J, but they are making progress in terms of income. The company had a good income in the last three months of 2023.

Compared to the last three months of 2022, income has increased by 25 percent in 2023, according to various reports. Especially, when the advertising market also reaches its previous state, Meta's income is increasing.

In terms of virtual reality, there have been positive signs recently. It can also be seen that the company is improving in the area it has invested in.

Last Updated: Jan 21, 2080 11:2

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Rabins Sharma Lamichhane

Rabins Sharma Lamichhane is senior ICT professional who talks about #it, #cloud, #servers, #software, and #innovation. Rabins is also the first initiator of Digital Nepal. Facebook: rabinsxp Instagram: rabinsxp

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