Is your timeline clogged up with people sharing montage videos of their lives? Our Comms Assistant Sadye Baker takes a look at the journey of Facebook that led to this point.
Ten years ago, Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg set out with the aim to connect fellow college students. Known as a ‘prodigy’ in computer programming he had always been ahead of the game in terms of what he produced and how it connected people.
Zuckerberg’s defining moment came when he launched thefacebook.com from his dormitory room in February 2004. Ten years later, we have the social media giant that is Facebook, with its 1.23 billion users, connecting the world.
Over the years, Facebook’s exponential growth has seen it evolve drastically. Brands can use Facebook to reach out to an audience and insights provide them with a platform for improving engagement – a ‘what women want’ of the marketing world. It allows communities to unite and speak up against social ills, and the world has access to masses of educational information at their fingertips.
Developing into a ‘mobile first’ app in early 2012 was a decision made by Zuckerberg as a reaction to the changing ways in which people communicate and interact with technology, evidence that Facebook is not shy when it comes to moving with its users.
Encouraging wider connections and content creation, the site allows access to the world from one page. A growing number of people are using Facebook to discuss, debate, share and engage. The site plays host to many emotional triggers, from funny pictures to stirring video campaigns. It is this content that drives forward the social networking site, and this is how Facebook set to celebrate its birthday.
After developing the ‘year in review’, where users can take a look back over posts and content they’ve shared over the past year, Facebook has now taken a bold step to give back and celebrate its tenth year. Facebook’s homepage message read “Our 10th birthday only happened because of all your friendships, stories and memories along the way. Thank you.”
The site generated hundreds of millions of ‘look back’ videos which include users’ most liked posts, photos they’ve shared and moments from their timeline.
Many timelines are flooded with users sharing these videos, including my own. For me, it’s a wonderful way of documenting snippets of what we share. Although the videos aren’t exactly epic, action filled montages, I was overwhelmed with gratitude looking back over the last few years in this way, a form of digital storytelling.
This gratitude was echoed by Zuckerberg’s statement, “It’s been an amazing journey so far, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it. It’s rare to be able to touch so many people’s lives … It’s been amazing to see how all of you have used our tools to build a real community. You’ve shared the happy moments and the painful ones. You’ve started new families, and kept spread out families connected.”
Whether we will be celebrating Facebook’s twentieth anniversary is uncertain, the might of social media and developments in technology are constantly challenging the network. However, by evolving and adapting to what users are doing, the site still remains the most popular, and is on track to be the fastest ever company to reach a market cap of $150 billion. Not bad for its roots in a college dorm room.