On this day 10 years ago in 2004 the social networking site Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg. It was founded by Zuckerberg with his Harvard roommates Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, Andrew McCollum and Chris Hughes. The site was initially just for Harvard students to communicate, but it soon spread throughout American universities and eventually worldwide.
It quickly became one of the most used social networking sites and one of the most influential websites in history. Facebook is a cultural staple which is now a useful social tool for many teenagers and adults. Far from its humble beginnings in Harvard, Facebook now boasts 1.23 billion active users worldwide.
10 years on, we can reflect on Facebook’s impact on the rise of social media. Facebook’s decision to sell stock in 2012 made headline news; Yahoo’s acquisition of Tumblr was endlessly discussed by pundits; policy and controversy can both arise from a 140 character tweet by a politician. This is the world we live in now, and Facebook has had a considerable role in this. Whilst it sounds corny, and full of the overblown rhetoric you would hear from the CEOs of these companies, social media does in a way bring people together. It is much easier to communicate with old friends from your school days by just starting a chat on Facebook, and blogging platforms have given voice to many and forged international connections. It is true that some have become more antisocial due to the fixation with social media on their phones, but a lot of this is just the lamentations of the Daily Telegraph, Fox News and the like. Like it or not, Mark Zuckerberg and his friends changed the world when they sat down in their dorm room and created Facebook.