Happy [Belated] Birthday, Facebook!

So in case you missed it on your news feed, Facebook turned 5 years old earlier this month. Our generation has seen first hand the dramatic effect Facebook has had on the internet, social networking, and our daily lives. I (and I’m sure many of you) can remember when Facebook was introduced at Belmont University here in Nashville, TN (and the same creed rings true for colleges and networks across the country) – everyone seemingly jumped on the bandwagon all at once, everyone was friends with everyone, groups started popping up for every little thing you could possibly think of, from ‘Thank God I was brought up on Boy Meets World, Full House, & Saved by the Bell (Belmont Chapter)’ to ‘My Cafeteria Scored a 67 on Health Inspection and I Still Eat There’. Facebook hit the mainstream and before long, snowballed into something that you felt left out if you weren’t a part of.

So here we are, five years later, the college generation of 2004-2005 who have been with Facebook since birth, and Facebook has developed into an international must-have commodity. As social networking continues to become even more prominent for the business environment with websites like LinkedIn & Twitter, there seemingly is no end in sight. But today, we take a look back through the years, back to when it all started, when Facebook, a company started up by a couple college kids, boldy came on to the scene to take on the mega-giant of Myspace.

Facebook [by the numbers]

  • More than 175 million active users
  • 15 million users update their statuses at least once each day
  • 850 million photos are uploaded to the site each month
  • 24 million pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photos, etc.) are shared each month
  • 3.5 million users become fans of Pages each day
  • The average user has 120 friends
  • More than 3 million minutes are spent on Facebook each day
  • Over 70% of Facebook users live outside the United States
  • More than 660,000 developers of Facebook ‘Apps’

Links to other Facebook news and info:

UPDATE: Power to the People! As of this morning, Facebook has reverted back to their old terms of service. Essentialy, a couple weeks ago they released a statement stating that even if you had deactivated or deleted your Facebook account, Facebook would still be able to share and use uploaded information at will. This clearly rubbed some people the wrong way, and in turn has led the powers at be to reconsider and revert back to their old form. That being said, if you upload something on the Internet, you have pretty much given up your right to keeping it private – so think twice before uploading those questionable pictures from a party you were at last weekend.


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4 Responses
  • rikin Reply

    I was born in 85' and was lucky enough to have been in college when Facebook was new and had charm. But when something goes from having that inexplicable charm (which creates followers, engagement, and fans) to becoming a 'commodity' like you said, it really is a bad omen for things to come.

    The recent TOS fiasco, which wasn't the first backfire FB had, is because facebook doesn't know how to go from being a kid to an adult. I'm annoyed simply because there was nothing wrong in being a kid in the first place. In fact, they had a platform that garnered huge local interest and created 1000s of niches/topics. In my opinion, they got rid of that valuable asset and diluted to become a national platform open to my damn parents and scattered with dumb ads.

    I wonder what would happen if there was a reset button on Facebook and they could start all over again but while knowing what they know over the past 5 years. Good luck to em'!

  • Matthew Reply

    1985! What a year right? I too was with Facebook from the beginning – it hit our campus and spread like wildfire. There was a clear transition from charm to commodity – when it went from being a cool networking tool on college campuses to being open to anyone and everyone with an internet connection – it all sort of started snowballing downhill. I guess that is the nature of the beast, increase availability (which isn't always a bad thing) and throw a bunch of advertisements up.

    You raise an interesting point – if Facebook could 'start fresh' with a clean slate knowing what they know now, where would they be? At this point, after this whole TOS deal, I bet they are wishing they could reboot and start over…

  • Ashley Reply

    It hit me yesterday how crazy it's becoming when I got tagged in a picture from freshman year of highschool by my friends dad. Just when you think you're safe, the pictures re-surface.

  • Ashley Reply

    It hit me yesterday how crazy it's becoming when I got tagged in a picture from freshman year of highschool by my friends dad. Just when you think you're safe, the pictures re-surface.

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