Created on: February 07, 2013
Facebook celebrates its ninth anniversary this February with more than a billion users. According to Facebook, 82% of the popular social networking site’s monthly active users live outside the United States and Canada. Every day, 618 million users log on to Facebook, while 680 million users use Facebook mobile products. While the site remains popular, a Pew
survey conducted in the U.S. reported that 27% of users want to spend less time on the site this year, while more than 60% of users have taken a break from the site for periods of several weeks or more. Could this be prompted by Facebook’s many site changes? This article looks at the biggest changes the site has made since its launch in 2004.
Changing its name and opening access to the world
When Facebook first launched in February 2004, it was known as TheFacebook and was only open to students from Harvard University, where founder, Mark Zuckerberg, was studying. In March, the site was expanded to students from Stanford, Columbia and Yale, and in 2005, a high school version was launched separately. It wasn’t until September 2006 that the site was open to everyone aged 13 and up.
Facebook for businesses
Companies quickly realized that Facebook, with its millions of active users, was a vital marketing tool and the site was quick to oblige. In 2007, Facebook launched Facebook Pages, in an effort to keep the site clutter-free and to keep the number of advertisements on the site controlled while still allowing business an avenue to reach the site’s users.
The rise and fall of the Beacon
Ever-interested in the advertising dollar, Facebook launched the Beacon or Facebook insights in 2007. The program allowed users to access customer demographics, trends and even user activity. Worse, the program announced online purchases to the world through the user’s Facebook page, which as one unhappy customer put it, “Ruined Christmas.” It didn’t take long for users to launch a class action law suit worth $9.5 million, which forced Facebook to shut down the Beacon.
The thumbs up
Wanting to make the user experience better and more convenient, Facebook launched the Like Button in 2009. The button allowed users to like their friends comment without typing out an entire sentence. The feature was soon rolled out to websites around the world, allowing users to like an article or a web page with a click of a button. The page would then be posted on the user’s Facebook page
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