April 14, 2021

The key moments that have made Facebook the largest social network – The Province


This Monday, February 4, marks 15 years since a young manMark ZuckerbergHe created in the University of Harvard (United States) Facebook, a then new way of connecting people through the network that becameor in the largest social network, reaching 2,320 million monthly active users worldwide, even though at first onlyI aspired to surpass 500 people.

Since its birth in 2004, Facebook has experienced several moments that have marked what it is today as a social network and as a company, from its first steps in which it was not yet open to the public until the privacy scandals such as the one ofCambridge Analytica, through the purchase of other services on the rise such as WhatsApp and Instagram.

First steps: the wall

In an interview with the US network CNBC in 2004, Zuckerberg described his platform, known then as thefacebook.com, as "an online directory that connects people through universities ". Facebook was born in the University of Harvard and was gradually extended to other universities in the United States, reaching 800 centers and then also institutes.

By then,Thefacebook had just 1,200 users, and Zuckerberg was surprised because his original expectation was to reach 400 or 500 people,as he confessed in the interview. In those first moments, to create an account it was necessary to be invited by another user, and it was limited to the academic field.

One of the first milestones in the initial history of Thefacebook was the introduction of the wall, only seven months after its creation, in September 2004. Through this feature it began to be possible to leave public messages in the profiles of other users.

Global opening and growth

On September 26, 2006, Facebook (which had already adopted its current name since 2005)It was opened as a portal to users around the world. In this way, any user (both people and companies) could open their own account for the first time without the need for an invitation.

In the following years, Facebook expands and consolidates as a platform, with milestones such as the introduction of the 'like' button in 2008. To this are added others such as the launch of the Facebook mobile application (October 2007) or the arrival of the videos (June 2007).

The expansion of Facebook is completed with the arrival of Facebook to other countries and with other languages. Spanish was the first language that was incorporated into original English, back in February 2008 and from 1,500 volunteers. Shortly after, French and German followed, and todaya Facebook is available in 140 languages.

Buy whatsapp and Instagram

The growth of Facebook as a social network also led to the expansion of the company, which began to buy other applications at the time booming. The first one was the social network of Instagram images, extended to the young public, back in April 2012.

Just two years after its creation,Facebook paid $ 1 billion for Instagram and kept itas an independent service, something that remains that way today, even though Zuckerberg plans the integration of the company's messaging services(Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram).

The WhatsApp messaging application was just another of Facebook's great movements at this stage, with its purchase in 2014 for 22,000 million dollars. With 600 million users at that time,WhatsApp was the most used messaging service and remains the preferred one at present,chosen by users from 131 countries in the world, including Spain, according to Hootsuite data.

Scandals: Cambridge analytica and Research

With the expansion of Facebook, some of its biggest scandals have also come. In March 2018, the case ofCambridge Analytica, a consultancy that illegally obtained data from 50 million usersand used them to benefit political campaigns like Donald Trump's in the 2016 US presidential election.

These data, obtained through an application that only voluntarily installed 270,000 people, were also used in the campaign in favor of Brexit in the United Kingdom. The use of Facebook as a tool for the interference of foreign countries, such as Russia in the United States elections, forced the appearance before the Congress of this country of the company's chief of operations, Sheryl Sandberg, who acknowledged thatFacebook had been "very slow to detect" foreign propaganda.

Currently, Facebook has been splashed by other controversies among which is that of its Facebook Research market analysis program. With it, it paid users between 13 and 35 years to install a VPN that allowed the company to access all the data on your device.

After knowing the existence of Facebook Research and that the company had even paid adolescent users to obtain their personal data, the company was forced to close this program at the end of January, but not before having been vetoed by Apple.

Despite the criticism received, after 15 years of its creation Facebook continues to grow in users. In the latest data, its total figure has reached 2.320 million monthly active users, growing by 9% in the last year. One in four people in the world already use the repository created by Zuckerberg in 2004, which already asked "who knows what will happen next".

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