Today is Facebook’s 10th anniversary.
Facebook has grown into an Internet giant over the last decade, but it is celebrating its birthday with a low-key, belated party and an eye toward the future.
While the arrival of its 10th anniversary on Tuesday has pundits analyzing the social network’s past and theorizing about its future, the Internet juggernaut is trying to stay focused on the job at hand.
“Just as we do every year, we will have an internal party on Friday afternoon,” Facebook spokeswoman Arielle Aryah told AFP in response to a query regarding the company’s birthday celebration plans.
It remained to be seen whether the Menlo Park, California-based social network, which now boasts over a billion users, had something playful planned for its actual anniversary on Tuesday.
In an earnings call last week to discuss stellar quarterly results, Facebook chief and co-found Mark Zuckerberg gave a nod to the growth seen during the past decade but focused on the future.
Zuckerberg spoke of making “apps” for showcasing Facebook features on smartphones or tablets to stay in synch with mobile Internet lifestyles.
Long-range goals included using artificial intelligence to figure out how pictures, videos, comments and more shared at Facebook are related and of shooting toward helping people share anything they want, with anyone they want, whenever they want.
Facebook broke ground late last year on an expansion to its campus in former Sun Microsystem digs in the Silicon Valley city of Menlo Park.
The new West Campus was designed by respected architect Frank Gehry.
As Facebook celebrates its 10th anniversary, the world’s biggest social network is finding its path as a maturing company, adapting to an aging user base.
Zuckerberg has repeatedly described Facebook’s mission as “making the world more open and connected,” and some say he has accomplished just that.
The company created in a Harvard dorm room in 2004 has established itself as a phenomenon, securing its place in the world of the technology giants.
“Facebook has made the world much smaller, much more interactive,” said Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry.
In its short history, Facebook has become a part of daily life for more than a billion people around the globe.
“More than 20 percent of all time spent on the Internet is spent on Facebook,” says Lou Kerner, founder of the Social Internet Fund.
Facebook says it has a global total of 1.23 billion monthly active users, including 945 million who use the social network on a mobile device.
And, a Pew Research Center survey released Monday suggests no slowing momentum for the network, even though more than half of US Facebook users said they are turned off by oversharing and didn’t like the fact that they showed up in pictures without giving permission.
After a calamitous initial public offering in May 2012 plagued by technical glitches, Facebook saw its share price slump by half.
But the company has been on a roll for the past year, with its stock hitting record highs.
According to the research firm eMarketer, Facebook has become the second-largest recipient of digital advertising spending behind Google, and is particularly strong in mobile ads.
“Facebook appears the best way to play the social Internet,” Morgan Stanley analysts said in a note to clients, preferring Facebook to the up-and-coming network Twitter.
by Glenn Chapman, AFP
It’s been an amazing journey so far, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it. It’s rare to be able to touch so many people’s lives, and I try to remind myself to make the most of every day and have the biggest impact I can.
People often ask if I always knew that Facebook would become what it is today. No way.
I remember getting pizza with my friends one night in college shortly after opening Facebook. I told them I was excited to help connect our school community, but one day someone needed to connect the whole world.
I always thought this was important — giving people the power to share and stay connected, empowering people to build their own communities themselves.
When I reflect on the last 10 years, one question I ask myself is: why were we the ones to build this? We were just students. We had way fewer resources than big companies. If they had focused on this problem, they could have done it.
The only answer I can think of is: we just cared more.
While some doubted that connecting the world was actually important, we were building. While others doubted that this would be sustainable, you were forming lasting connections.
We just cared more about connecting the world than anyone else. And we still do today.
That’s why I’m even more excited about the next ten years than the last. The first ten years were about bootstrapping this network. Now we have the resources to help people across the world solve even bigger and more important problems.
Today, only one-third of the world’s population has access to the internet. In the next decade, we have the opportunity and the responsibility to connect the other two-thirds.
Today, social networks are mostly about sharing moments. In the next decade, they’ll also help you answer questions and solve complex problems.
Today, we have only a few ways to share our experiences. In the next decade, technology will enable us to create many more ways to capture and communicate new kinds of experiences.
It’s been amazing to see how all of you have used our tools to build a real community. You’ve shared the happy moments and the painful ones. You’ve started new families, and kept spread out families connected. You’ve created new services and built small businesses. You’ve helped each other in so many ways.
I’m so grateful to be able to help build these tools for you. I feel a deep responsibility to make the most of my time here and serve you the best I can.
Thank you for letting me be a part of this journey.
Mark Zuckerberg post on Facebook 04.02.2014