Social networking website Facebook is celebrating its 10th birthday this week, marking a decade of ups and downs that has concluded with outstanding profits, more than 1.2 billion users worldwide and the need to keep expanding so as not to collapse.
The company launched by Mark Zuckerberg Feb 4, 2004, while a student at Harvard University has created for multitudes of people a different way to share experiences – and for others to gossip – that has made profitable like never before capitalising on the primitive human needs for communication and acceptance.
Facebook’s impact has been such that it created a new meaning for the word “friend” – as in “to friend someone on Facebook” – a category encompassing acquaintances or contacts who, for whatever reason, are interested in following a person’s Facebook posts.
In 2013, Facebook posted revenues of $7.87 billion, of which $1.5 billion were pure profits, and to that must be added the more than $11 billion in cash that the company has on hand.
Facebook has made Zuckerberg, who in May will turn 30, one of the wealthiest people on the planet.
The online network, which has hit it big as a business by broadening its social base, seems to be maxing out in terms of numbers of users.
At the same time, it has stopped being a novelty for young Americans.
Between January 2011 and January 2014, for example, Facebook lost more than 3 million users between the ages of 13 and 17. The same thing occurred in the 18-24 age group, Strategy Labs said in a recent report.