Facebook, the “revolutionary” social network that changed the world in the 20th century

Created 20 years ago as a simple virtual place to share with friends, Facebook has become a huge battleground that, although thought only for parents and refugees, is still grow up. “I will never forget the day I ran into my school’s Mac lab and signed into Facebook,” Insider Intelligence analyst Jasmine Enberg told AFP. “You feel at the same time that you are part of a small and special community where your parents, grandparents and teachers are not (…), but also part of something bigger,” he said.

Launched as thefacebook.com by Mark Zuckerberg and three friends on February 4, 2004, the portal is only available to Harvard College students. It was opened to the public in 2006. Facebook has become a place to connect with almost everyone, everywhere. In 2023, it is estimated that it will use more than 3 billion people every month, a growth of 3% compared to the previous year.

“When it started, Facebook was revolutionary,” Enberg said. “It’s hard to overstate the impact it has had on shaping everything from pop culture to the way we navigate the Internet,” he added.

The more users interact in social networks, which display photos, comments and other advertisements, the more it can display ads to make money from the many information that people shared. Facebook has been credited with helping to open the door for content to “go viral” and for supporting the trend of digital media.

Advertising is huge

Facebook has earned a reputation for buying, or copying, its competitors’ resources. Now it has a strong “family” of platforms, including Instagram and WhatsApp. Still the head of the company, Zuckerberg holds the idea of ​​investing more in acquiring users before integration to create results, such as advertising campaigns.

“It’s still impossible for advertisers to thank for its reach and effectiveness,” Enberg noted. Along with Google, Facebook has become the Internet advertising, with profits expected to reach US$ 23 billion (R$ 113.1 billion at current prices) in 2022, a year considered negative for the company based in Vale do Sul. Silicon.

The platform “is part of the digital panorama”, especially for “millennials” born in the 1980s and 1990s, according to the analyst. The business model of using personal data to provide more content that interests consumers, as well as advertising campaigns, has led to lawsuits and fines for Facebook.

From allegations that Russia used the platform to try to influence the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election, to allegations in 2021 that leaders put results before users healthy, he was placed in the eye of the storm. However, Facebook continues to grow, which has allowed it to invest in innovations such as Artificial Intelligence and virtual reality. With the argument that Zuckerberg dreams of a virtual and immersive world, which he will call “metaverse”, Facebook has changed the name of its management company to “Meta” at the end of 2021.

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“There is no other way”

“It is possible that we participate less, but we do not leave because there is no other way,” explained Carolina Milanesi, a strategic analyst. Facebook has been in vogue with the addition of “groups”, which allows you to create communities based on interests, and benefit from the Marketplace function for buying or selling products. Enberg called the purchase of Instagram in 2012 one of Facebook’s best decisions as part of the move to smartphones.

The move eliminates a competitor, provides a new platform for advertising and attracts younger users who are dissatisfied with the old network. Today, more than half of Facebook users are between 18 and 34 years old, according to research by DataReportal. However, the level of user engagement is still difficult to measure.

“I don’t really use Facebook, but what I post on Instagram shows up on Facebook,” says Milanesi. “Therefore, I really consider it ‘active’ (…) The numbers will not reflect the truth,” he added.

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