Fill in the blank. Where were you when _________?
Most people pose this question in relationship to “9/11′ or ‘when Kennedy was shot’, but here’s what I want to know: Where were you when you first heard about Facebook? Before you answer (preferably in the comments section below), I know you weren’t glued to the TV that day and you probably didn’t call your friends and family to share the news. However, while in no way do I mean irreverence to the two tragedies previously mentioned, you must admit, in the past seven years, Facebook has truly changed the way people view communications.
Oh yes, you read that correctly…FACEBOOK HAS BEEN AROUND FOR SEVEN YEARS! Can you believe it? I feel old! I remember I was sitting in French class my senior year of high school when my friend told me about Facebook. She said it was a little like MySpace…but cooler. It was exclusively for college students, so to join you had to be invited by someone you knew. She said she would send an invite that night when she got home. So that was the day I joined. Not very spectacular, I know, but 6 years later, Facebook has come a long way and so has my use of it. It has proven to be not just a fad and that it is willing to adapt and change as it continues to grow.
Back then, Facebook was called The Facebook (something that I had completely forgotten about until I was reminiscing for this post). Here’s a look at how the website has grown from social media concept to to social media giant.
- February 4, 2004 – TheFacebook.com launches at Harvard University.
- June 2004 – The Facebook moves to Palo Alto, California
- September 2004 – The “Groups” application is added and the “Wall” makes its debut.
- December 2004 – Facebook reaches 1 million users.
- August 2005 – TheFacebook becomes Facebook.com.
- September 2005 – Facebook expands to high school students.
- October 2005 – The Photos application makes its debut.
- December 2005 – Facebook reaches 5.5 million users.
- April 2006 – Facebook Mobile debuts.
- August 2006 – Facebook Platform launches, Notes application debuts, Facebook partners with Microsoft.
- September 2006 – Facebook News Feed launches, users revolt against privacy settings. Facebook opens to all users.
- December 2006 – Facebook has 12 million users.
- May 2008 – Facebook F8 Developer conference launches Facebook Platform and Facebook Apps.
- August 2007 – Facebook releases iPhone optimized site.
- October 2008 – Facebook Platform for Mobile, Microsoft invests big in Facebook.
- November 2007 – Facebook Ads launch, users complain about Beacon.
- March 2008 – Facebook adds privacy controls to Friend List.
- April 2008 – Facebook launches Facebook Chat.
- July 2008 – Facebook Connect debuts and Facebook for iPhone hits the App Store.
- September 2008 – New Facebook becomes permanent despite user backlash.
- February 2009 – Facebook introduces “Like” feature and TOS changes bring controversy.
- June 2009 – Facebook usernames launch.
- August 2009 – Facebook acquires FriendFeed.
- December 2009 – Facebook has 350 million users.
- April 2010 – Open Graph API launches.
- May 2010 – Facebook privacy issues reach overdrive.
- July 2010 – Facebook reaches 500 million users.
- August 2010 – Facebook Places launches, privacy concerns grow.
- October 2010 – The Social Network debuts to rave reviews.
- December 2010 – Time magazine names Mark Zuckerberg “Person of the Year.”
- January 2011 – Facebook valued at $50 billion.
Because I joined Facebook so early on this timeline, I understand that I am in an age bracket that some consider historic. My peers and I grew up alongside (and with) social media, and we helped it mature just as it helped us mature. Being part of this demographic truly gives me a unique perspective on the evolution of the medium, and as I have transitioned from using it solely for personal reasons to now using it as a business tool, my perspective has evolved as well.
Chances are, somewhere on this timeline, you created a profile and started connecting to people, but do you remember when? This brings me back to my original question: Where were YOU when you first heard about Facebook?
Gerrilyn Koontz became a full time content manager for Make Me Social after graduating from The Pennsylvania State University in 2009. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, she is happy to be back in the South living in Anderson, South Carolina with her husband Erick.