In 2003, 19-year-old Harvard computer scientist Mark Zuckerberg was laying the foundations for Facebook when he sought to build an online network aimed at connecting Harvard students from his dorm room.
The following year he would start thefacebook.com, again starting Harvard with three roommates and classmates. These individuals were Chris Hughes, Eduardo Saverin and Dustin Moskovitz.
Facebook membership then expands to other colleges in North America, and Zuckerberg quits his studies and moves to Silicon Valley.
The new company receives its initial investment from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, raising the value of his company to $500.000. In 2005, its name was officially changed to Facebook.
In 2006, the US media community Viacom and Yahoo want to buy Facebook. However, Zuckerberg does not sell it.
Microsoft buys a $240 million stake in the company a year later. By this time, Facebook has reached 50 million registered users.
That year, Zuckerberg witnessed privacy breaches by an advertising platform called Beacon, which tracks purchases made by Facebook members and notifies friends what they've bought. Admits this mistake.
In 2008, the platform surpasses Myspace to become the most popular social networking site in the world. The following year, it launched its first mobile application.
David Fincher's Facebook origin story "The Social Network" hits movie theaters in 2010. It won Oscars for best adapted screenplay, original score and film editing.
That year, Time magazine named Zuckerberg Person of the Year for “transforming the way we live our lives every day.”
With its membership badges, Facebook plays an increasing role in shaping these discussions in the public.
In 2011, the platform is also thought to have played a key role in giving voice to Arab youth disillusioned by the Spring of Arab uprisings that started in Tunisia that year.
Facebook Enters Stock Market
In 2012, Facebook offers the 1 billion dollar Instagram photo sharing application to the public.
The company is valued at $16 billion, with approximately $104 billion in the largest ever public offering in the tech industry. By October 2012, Facebook's membership exceeds one billion.
social media community
In 2014, Facebook buys messaging platform WhatsApp in a $19 billion cash and stock deal. It pays a small fortune to try to increase its popularity among teens and smartphone users.
As Facebook continues to rise around the world, it is moving into its new Frank Gehry-designed headquarters in Silicon Valley with a rooftop park and “the world's largest open floor plan.”
In 2016, Facebook has been widely questioned by the public for allegedly using Russia and other social media platforms to try to influence the outcome of the election that brought Donald Trump to the White House.
In 2018, Facebook alleged that British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica secretly collected the personal data of millions of Facebook users and used it for political purposes, including trying to rally support for Trump. It is almost at the center of the scandal.
Zuckerberg is questioned in the US Congress about Facebook's handling of user data and how the network has been manipulated to undermine democracy.
The Facebook boss promises to combat fake news, election interference and hate speech, and to oversee data privacy in a very controlled manner.
Facebook to Meta
In 2021, Zuckerberg changes Facebook's company name to meta, meaning "beyond" in Greek. He also shares the concept of the metaverse, the virtual world he thinks represents the future of the internet.
Facebook shares fell on February 3, 2022, in line with slowing revenue growth. The total loss value is thought to be $200 billion.
With TikTok or Snapchat, which is used by young people, Facebook members are starting to decrease. The company admits that it has lost one million active daily users. However, it remains the largest social media platform with 1,96 billion users, which is a quarter of the world's population.