February 4th, 2014, 21:36 PM
Facebook: The Mixed Legacy Of Its First Ten Years
Facebook is celebrating its tenth birthday today, with observers debating the social network’s legacy and future a decade after it launched from Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room on 4 February 2004.
Zuckerberg himself has marked the anniversary with a post on his personal Facebook page, declaring that he is delighted with his company’s role in connecting people around the world. And the company has provided LookBack, an application which builds an animated movie from your Facebook posts over the years.
“It’s been an amazing journey so far, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it,” says Zuckerberg. “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.
mark-zuckerberg-facebook-news-feedZuckerberg is extravagant in his praise of his own creation, of course. musing on the peculiar fact that a group of students, immortalised in the 2010 film The Social Network, should be the ones to create such a network when bigger companies had more resources at their disposal. He says they could have created something like Facebook if they wanted, but that he and his friends “just cared more about connecting the world.”
“That’s why I’m even more excited about the next ten years than the last,” he waxes on. “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.”
“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.”
Zuckerberg says he had no idea when he started what was then known as ‘thefacebook’ that it would become the social behemoth it is today. Facebook has more than 1.2 billion users and is valued at around £84 billion, but there are concerns that its popularity is starting to fade.
Younger users are increasingly turning towards instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Snapchat (which was reportedly the subject of a $3 billion bid from Facebook last year), with the impression among many that Facebook is a social network for older people.
A recent study by researchers at Princeton University compared Facebook to an infectious disease and suggested that the site will have lost 80 percent of its users by 2017 as people lose interest as more of their friends stop using it.