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Facebook's 10th birthday: Milestones in the history of the social networking leader


Updated: February 4, 2014, 10:22 AM IST
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Facebook's 10th birthday: Milestones in the history of the social networking leader
Facebook was launched a decade ago on February 4, 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg as a sophomore at Harvard University.

New Delhi: Facebook - with more than 1.2 billion users worldwide - is celebrating its 10th birthday amidst challenges of keeping its original base of young users with new innovative social networks coming to the fore. The company was launched by Mark Zuckerberg on February 4, 2004, from Harvard University. According to a recent report in iStrategyLabs, Facebook lost more than 3 million users in the age group of 13 and 17 between January 2011 and January 2014.

Some key developments in 10 years since Facebook's creation:

February 2004: Mark Zuckerberg starts Facebook as a sophomore at Harvard University.

March 2004: Facebook begins expansion to other colleges and universities.

June 2004: Facebook moves headquarters to Palo Alto, California.

September 2004: Facebook introduces the Wall, which allows people to write personal musings and other tidbits on profile pages. Lawsuit filed against Facebook claiming that Zuckerberg stole the idea for Facebook from a company co-founded by twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and a third person at Harvard.

September 2005: Facebook expands to include high schools.

May 2006: Facebook introduces work networks, allowing people with a corporate email address to join.

September 2006: Facebook begins letting anyone over 13 join. It also introduces News Feed, which collects friends' Wall posts in one place. Although that led to complaints about privacy, News Feed became one of Facebook's most popular features.

May 2007: Facebook launches Platform, a system for letting outside programmers develop tools for sharing photos, taking quizzes and playing games. The system creates a Facebook economy and allows companies such as game maker Zynga Inc. to thrive.

October 2007: Facebook agrees to sell a 1.6 per cent stake to Microsoft for $240 million and forges advertising partnership.

November 2007: Facebook unveils its Beacon program, a feature that broadcasts people's activities on dozens of outside sites. Yet another privacy backlash led Facebook to give people more control over Beacon, before Facebook ultimately scrapped it as part of a legal settlement.

March 2008: Facebook hires Sheryl Sandberg as chief operating officer, snatching the savvy, high-profile executive from Google Inc.

April 2008: Facebook Chat introduced.

February 2009: Facebook introduces "Like," allowing people to endorse other people's posts.

June 2009: Facebook surpasses News Corp.'s Myspace as the leading online social network in the US.

August 2010: Facebook launches location feature, allowing people to share where they are with their friends and strangers.

October 2010: Release of "The Social Network," a movie about Zuckerberg and the legal battles over Facebook's founding. It gets eight Academy Awards nominations and wins three.

June 2011: Google launches rival social network called Plus. The Winklevoss twins end their legal battle over the idea behind Facebook. They had settled with Facebook for $65 million in 2008, but later sought more money.

September 2011: Facebook introduces Timeline, a new version of the profile page. It shows highlights from a person's entire Facebook life rather than recent posts.

November 2011: Facebook agrees to settle federal charges that it violated users' privacy by getting people to share more information than they agreed to when they signed up to the site. As part of a settlement, Facebook will allow independent auditors to review its privacy practices for two years. It also agrees to get approval from users before changing how the company handles their data.

December 2011: Facebook completes its move to Menlo Park, California Its address is 1 Hacker Way.

January 2012: Facebook begins making Timeline mandatory.

February 2012: Facebook files for an initial public offering of stock.

January 2013: Facebook announces the launch of Graph Search that allows users to search anything their Facebook friends have shared, including photos and posts.

April 2013: Facebook introduces the Home app for Android, with an idea to bring content right to you, rather than require people to check apps on the device.

June 2013: Facebook introduces hashtags, the number signs used on Twitter, Instagram and other services to identify topics being discussed and allow users to search for them.

July 2013: Facebook rolls out Embedded Posts to everyone.

January 2014: Facebook adds Twitter-like trending topics

January 30, 2014: Facebook introduces Paper, a new app that helps you explore and share stories from friends and the world around you. The first section in Paper is your Facebook News Feed, where you'll enjoy new designs for photos, videos, and longer written posts. You can customise Paper with a choice of more than a dozen other sections about various themes and topics-from photography and sports to food, science and design. The app is available for the iPhone in the US starting February 3

First Published: February 4, 2014, 10:22 AM IST
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