The history of Facebook, from its origins to today

Undoubtedly, a prominent place among the protagonists of our present is those virtual meeting points that we know so well and that we have used to frequent for about twenty years now.

These are those social network services accessible from the web since the end of the nineties of the last century and which in practice have become places of exchange that today’s society uses to share digital content and to communicate .

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Without going into the analysis of the many issues raised by the massive use we make of social media, which would also imply the observation of how much our way of socializing and communicating has changed , there is no doubt that these now have a very significant weight on our life and, for better or for worse, are now part of our daily reality.

The history of social media begins with the launch of SixDregrees.com in 1997, but the first to take root is Friendster , followed by others of lesser success , up to Myspace and LinkedIN .
However, it was in 2004 that things changed , when the then nineteen year old genius of computer science Mark Zucherberg, with the help of several friends and collaborators and after some unsuccessful attempts (a first database, Facemash , was immediately closed), creates a system that can connect students of the Harvard University using the network.
It will be from the idea of ‚Äč‚Äčthis sort of “digital school yearbook” (whose story is told by the well-known film “The Social Network” of 2010) that Facebook was born, which in short time will become the most populated virtual place in the world.
Launched precisely on February 4th 2004 with the domain thefacebook.com , then changed the following year nte in facebook.com , Zucherberg’s creature was therefore born as a social network service and, implemented over the years with various features that meet great favor with the people of the web, conquers millions of people all over the world. to become, as we said, one of the main protagonists of our years.

A not exactly serene debut, if you consider that almost immediately Zucherberg is accused of plagiarism and intellectual theft by other students with whom he had previously collaborated to create another social network, but that does not stop the fame that the new social network begins to have and that makes it leave the university environment to spread throughout the network.
2008 marks the moment in which Facebook exceeds the number of Myspace users . In Italy, in the same year, there was a boom in presences.

His popularity continues to grow, his community grows larger and Zucherberg’s profits soar, so much so that, in 2010, “Time” places him among the hundred richest and most influential people in the world .

The following years consecrate the Facebook platform as a real world giant, able to gradually acquire other important digital realities, such as Instagram and WhatsApp, thus expanding its catchment area and conquering the people of young users of the network. (among the other acquisitions of Facebook Technologies, also, in 2014, that of the Oculus VR brand, which produces tools for virtual reality).

In 2012 Facebook.inc arrives on Wall Street
with one of the largest public offerings in US history. This raises the company’s value to one hundred four billion dollars, the highest value ever recorded for a new entry on the New York Stock Exchange.

On August 24, 2015, Facebook registered a billion users connected at the same time and its profits were skyrocketing, reaching three billion dollars in profits in 2017 .
It is in July 2018 that the first drop in users in Europe is announced and a slowdown in growth globally. However, this does not seem to affect the personal finances of Zucherberg who, according to Forbes magazine, is the fifth richest man in the world in 2019.

Such a sensational path and such a huge amount of users for the social medium that it has radically changed our social dynamics and influenced our life, which certainly cannot exempt it from management difficulties, criticisms, legal issues, many of which related to privacy and security (let’s not forget, for example, the scandal resulting from the accusation that the data of millions of Facebook users ended up in the hands of the British analysis and consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica).

A path therefore often controversial, for the giant that has revolutionized our way of communicating and has had an immense global economic impact, and which, despite everything, seems to intend to continue to do so, given that its initiatives are push continuously forward, until the announcement, in 2019, of wanting to spread its own digital currency, Libra, which many fear could interfere with the national currencies and monetary policies of the various countries.

Alessandra Buschi

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