Ten years ago, people were freaking out over Janet Jackson’s controversial performance during Super Bowl Super Bowl XXXVIII. All the cool kids were on some social networking site called MySpace. Meanwhile a college student unveiled another social networking site, at the time limited to just fellow Harvard students, originally dubbed “The Facebook” – which accumulated over 50 million active users within its first year.
Facebook launched on February 4, 2004 and became the juggernaut of social media. Here in the United States, for example, 67% of Internet users are on Facebook. In the United Kingdom, that number is a staggering 82%. Facebook has also become the most popular social media app on smartphones and accounts for 66% of all social media sharing on iPhones. And you know you’ve hit the big time when a major Hollywood motion picture is released that storifies the origins and rise of your business.
Of course, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the social media site.
Founder Mark Zuckerberg was accused of stealing the idea and has earned a reputation for being able to flawlessly fire people. It’s also been estimated that scammers can earn $200 million per year on Facebook. And, companies have sold user profiles along with some instances of human trafficking and extortion.
Even the future of Facebook is in doubt. A study through Princeton University discovered that the site may lose around 80% of its users over the next three years. There was another recent study that found between January 2011 and January 2014, Facebook lost over 3 million users in the age 13 to 17 year old demographic.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom for Facebook. As of today, the site remains one of the most popular in the world. In fact, Alexa has ranked Facebook second in its Top 500 Global Sites right behind search engine powerhouse Google.
So, in honor of Facebook’s decade-long dominance, here are 25 things that you should know about the social network.
- In 2007, Facebook underwent a major homepage redesign which replaced a man’s partly obscured face behind a cloud of binary code. But, who was the mystery “Facebook guy”? David Kirkpatrick revealed in his book The Facebook Effect that the image is actually a manipulated photo of legendary actor Al Pacino. The effect was created by a friend and classmate of Mark Zuckerberg.
- During Facebook’s first summer, the Zuckerberg family spent $85,000 to keep the company afloat. As of September 2013, Mark Zuckerberg is worth $19 billion.
- When Facebook began selling stock to the public and trading on the NASDAQ on May 18, 2012, its shares were priced at $38, which meant the company was valued at over $100 billion. It also meant that Facebook was worth more than eBay, Yahoo, Groupon, LinkedIn, Netflix, IAC, AOL, Zynga and Pandora… combined.
- Facebook’s first corporate partnerships, launched May 2006, were Apple and Microsoft along with Intel, EA and Amazon. Some of the other early partnerships also included Accenture, Gap, Intuit, Pepsi, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the non-profit organization Teach for America. Everyone else had to wait until September 2006 to join Facebook.
- Napster co-founder Sean Parker transitioned Facebook from a college project into an actual company. As dramatized in the 2010 film The Social Network, Parker changed the site’s name from Thefacebook.com by acquiring the domain Facebook.com for $200,000. Furthermore, it was Parker who insisted that the site add its most popular feature: photo sharing.
- Who’s on Facebook? 42% of users are male, however, the site is more gender neutral than Pinterest and Google +. About 75% of all U.S. Internet users have had some sort of college education. 73% of users in the U.S. have incomes above $75,000 (compared to 17% on Twitter, and 13% on Pinterest).
- The most checked-in locations in the U.S. during 2013, excluding transportation hubs, were: Disneyland & Disney California Adventure, Anaheim, Calif.; Times Square, New York City; Epcot Center, Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.; Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles; AT&T Park, San Francisco; Rangers Ballpark, Arlington, Texas; Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal City, Calif.; Fenway Park, Boston; MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas; Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, Houston.
- As of September, 2013 the percentage of 15-34 year olds on Facebook are 66%. Interestingly, 45% of internet users who are 65 years or older are also on Facebook. And, don’t be embarrassed if you’re Facebook friends with your parents; 70% of users are friends with their parents.
- Every morning when they wake up, 48% of 18-34 year olds check their Facebook account. 28% of that demographic actually check Facebook before they even get out of bed.
- Users are exposed to 1500 pieces of potential content every day.
- Approximately 7.5 million sites contain the the Facebook Like or Share Buttons.
- California is the most social state with 15,267,160 users. That means 41% of the state’s population is in Facebook. Texas is second with 9 million users and New York comes in at third with 8 million.
- In the United States, the five most popular brands on Facebook are: Walmart, Target, Amazon, Samsung Mobile USA and Subway.
- Despite being blocked, there are roughly 95 million Facebook users in China.
- Approximately 86% of their daily active users are outside the U.S. and Canada, with 29% logging in from Asian countries.
- There are 70 different languages available for users on Facebook.
- In 2013, the Super Bowl was the most talked about topic in the United States. Globally, the most talked about topic was Pope Francis.
- The average person spends between 18 and 20 minutes viewing their Facebook account. If you combine every user, that what would be around 20 billion minutes!
- Originally, engineers wanted to call the “Like” button the “Awesome” button.
- Every 20 minutes on Facebook 1 million links are shared, 2 million friends are requested and 3 million messages are sent.
- The most common life event added for users in 2013 was: Relationship/Got Engaged/Got Married. This was followed by Traveled, Moved, Ended a Relationship and First Met a Friend.
- Between 2012 and 2013, there was an increase in Facebook users by 22%.
- Ever since Facebook launched there have been a 150 billion friend connections, 1.13 trillion likes and 250 billion photos uploaded.
- On a daily basis there are 350 million photos uploaded, 4.5 billion likes, 10 billion messages sent and 22 billion times that the Like or Share buttons are viewed.
- Total monthly users: 1,310,000,000 with 680 million of them on mobile devices.
How long have you been on Facebook? And, what’s your favorite piece of information regarding Facebook?
Image Source: Marcin Wichary/Flickr
Editor’s Note: This post was edited for typos, post-publication. Sorry!