Facebook celebrates 10 years of making connections

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

Facebook like
When someone gets a Facebook like on their status update or photo, it’s been scientifically shown to create feelings similar to getting a hug.

While founder Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook as just a tiny social network for Harvard students when he was a sophomore in February 2004, it has since grown into a worldwide phenomenon that’s literally changed everything from entertainment, to how we make friends.

In March 2004, Facebook began allowing other colleges and universities to join, introducing the “Wall” in September (now called the Timeline). It expanded to include high schools in September 2005, then brought in people with business e-mails in May 2006, and finally just plain opened it up to anyone over the age of 13 in September 2006. At this point, it also created its most popular feature, the News Feed, which led to privacy concerns as everyone’s friend activity began to be streamed in one place.

Advertisers began taking advantage of Facebook’s massive audience, grabbing people’s personal information for custom ads and targeting their closest buddies, changing the way the internet does business forever.

Now, every little app you download can basically read through your entire phone and sell information to advertising companies, and just about every website has an option to “Like” it on dozens of social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. Despite rival companies like Google launching its Plus network and Myspace trying to reclaim its throne from Facebook, nobody’s been able to unseat the beast that Zuckerberg created.

By the end of 2013, Facebook was being used by over 1.23 billion users worldwide, with television shows, video games, and movies rising or falling based on the number of “Likes” they got. Children between the ages of 8 and 18 spend more than 7.5 hours a day using media for fun, and while that includes TV and video games, a huge chunk of the time is spent on social media, like Facebook.

For its 10th anniversary, Facebook introduced “A Look Back” that creates a video of your top pictures and status updates:

Featured image courtesy of Mark Zuckerberg Facebook.  Image of “Likes” courtesy of Facebook.