1Facebook at 10: Highlights in the Social Networking Pioneer’s History
by Jeffrey Burt
2Facebook Is Lauched
Actually, on Feb. 4, 2004, Thefacebook was launched. It was the result of the site Zuckerberg and three friends at Harvard initially called Facemash. Just days later, three other Harvard students—including the Winklevoss twins—start complaining that Zuckerberg stole their idea, and in September 2004, filed suit.
3Growing Beyond Harvard
A month later, Facebook expands to other universities, including Stanford, Columbia and Yale. Soon afterward, it expands even more into all Ivy League schools and those around Boston, and later to most colleges in the United States and Canada.
Zuckerberg incorporates Facebook in the summer of 2004, and Napster founder Sean Parker, who had been advising Zuckerberg, becomes the company’s president. Facebook’s operations move to California.
5Welcome to the Wall
In September 2004, Facebook rolls out the Wall, where users could write what they wanted on their profile pages.
6The Expansion Continues
In September and October 2005, Facebook grows its membership base to high schools and universities in other countries, including the United Kingdom, Mexico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
7Adding a Business Flavor
Facebook later makes employees of several companies, including Apple and Microsoft, eligible to join the social networking site.
8Rumors of a Sale
MySpace, a competing social networking site, is bought by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. in July 2005, kicking off rumors that Facebook similarly could be sold, despite Zuckerberg’s earlier insistence that he didn’t want to sell the company. The rumors continue into 2006, with speculation that Facebook rejected a $750 million deal.
9The Membership Grows
In December 2005, students from colleges in Australia and New Zealand become eligible to join Facebook, bringing the number of universities to more than 2,000 and high schools to more than 25,000. In September 2006, Facebook lets anyone older than 13 with a valid email address join.
10Facebook and Yahoo Talk
The two companies in September 2006 talk about Yahoo buying Facebook for $1 billion, though board members indicate Facebook internally puts its valuation at about $8 billion.
In July 2007, Zuckerberg says that he has no intention of selling Facebook and that he doesn’t want to take it public. He’d rather keep it independent. “It’s just not the core focus of the company,” he said.
12Facebook Launches Platform
Through Platform, which kicks off in May 2007, Facebook lets programmers from outside the company develop software to enable users to do everything from sharing photos to playing games.
13Microsoft Comes Onboard
The software giant in October 2007 spends $240 million for a 1.6 percent share of the company.
14Another Privacy Misstep
Facebook rolls out the Beacon feature, which opens up users’ various activities to sites outside Facebook. It doesn’t last long, with users pushing back over privacy issues.
15Going Big on Business
By late 2007, Facebook has 100,000 business pages, through which organizations let users and potential customers know about them.
16Sheryl Sandberg Comes Aboard
In March 2008, Facebook hires the Google vet as its chief operating officer. Sandberg moves the social network to focus on advertising as the prime source for revenue. In September 2009, Facebook for the first time becomes cash-flow positive.
17Facebook Gets Chatty
Facebook in April 2008 rolls out its Chat application to let users ping each other in real time.
18Facebook Goes Green
In October 2008, Facebook sets up its international headquarters in Dublin.
19Facebook Lets People ‘Like’
In February 2009, the “Like” feature is unveiled, letting users give a thumbs-up to posts on other users’ sites.
20Facebook Overtakes MySpace
Zuckerberg’s juggernaut passes MySpace as the United States’ largest social network.
21Making It Onto the Silver Screen
The movie “The Social Network” is released in October 2010, a highly praised but less-than-flattering look at Zuckerberg’s creation of Facebook.
By February 2011, Facebook becomes the largest host for online photos, with the expectations that the numbers of photos would hit 100 billion by that summer.
23Chatting With Skype
Facebook partners with Skype in June 2011, enabling the social network to offer video chat. Late that year, Facebook partners with Heroku to offer an application development platform.
24Facebook Rolls Out Timeline
Timeline, which launches in December 2011, packages users’ personal online histories into an easily accessible Web page, drawing criticism for being sort of creepy.
25Hitting Big Profits
Facebook officials in early 2012 say that profits reached $1 billion in 2011. In February, they also file for an initial public offering (IPO).