Facebook has a timeline on its website, but I thought it fitting to discuss a few points here since they just went into IPO mode on Friday, closing at the same price at which they opened.
- On February 4, 2004, Mark Zuckerberg launched “The Facebook” from his Harvard dorm room. I wonder what I was doing that day. Probably not starting a company that would go on to be valued at over $90 Billion dollars.
- News Feed drops in September, 2006. This was about the time when MySpace was still popular, and I hadn’t yet joined Facebook because I didn’t have the login access to my email ending in .edu. But I can just imagine what it was like to finally be able to see a News “ticker” if you will and not have to scour other people’s pages for information or to see what they were up to. Whereas MySpace was about “MY” space, and how creative I could be with it, Facebook was about seeing what’s going on with everyone else. The News Feed was the first gigantic step in that direction.
- Later in September, Facebook finally did what would really set it in hyperdrive to #1, it dropped the .edu restriction for email login. Now, anyone aged 13 or older could join Facebook. I didn’t even know, I had a friend tell me that you no longer have to have that specific email address to enroll. So I enrolled.
- A couple years later, Facebook unleashes its chat program. Instead of writing on walls and waiting for responses, or having to “email” each other back and forth through Facebook messages, you can now chat with them, in real time. Employees at ICQ, AIM, and MSN Messenger start dusting off their resumes.
- In February of 2009, Zuckerberg’s people release what is arguably the coolest Facebook feature ever. The LIKE button. It’s hard to believe that we’ve only been liking stuff since 2009, but it’s proven to be a great way to generate support, or simply acknowledge that you’ve heard someone loud and clear. Meanwhile, chants of the dislike button can be heard. (probably not gonna happen)
- Later that year, Facebook launched “Pages” so that companies, celebs, etc. didn’t have to create special Facebook names. (Facebook was always very particular about people using fake names.) This way you can “like” a page and thus follow that branded product or celebrity. It’s a genius marketing idea and now has become a de facto standard for any company wanting to expand its reach.
- In September of last year, Facebook did something bold and new, and released Timeline. Basically, it’s a Timeline of your past and highlights the most important aspects of your history. Pretty neat idea. And it’s definitely more aesthetically pleasing.
- Of course, May 18th, 2012 Facebook launches its IPO in what may have been the biggest launch ever. The jury is out on whether the valuation was accurate or not, but one thing is for sure. Everyone was paying attention.
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