The world’s first social network, Facebook turns 20 | Companies

What was a simple digital forum for young people entered the space 20 years ago and has become, since then, a mass media, with a lack of interest in your thoughts. Launched as thefacebook.com by Mark Zuckerberg and our friend on February 4, 2004, the Facebook It was initially restricted to Harvard College students, followed by students at other US universities before opening to the public in 2006.

Jasmine Enberg, an analyst at Insider Intelligence told AFP that “I will never forget the day I ran to my school’s Mac lab and signed in to Facebook. “You simultaneously think it’s like you’re part of a small community, especially where your parents and grandparents and teachers aren’t – but you’re also part of something bigger.”

Facebook has become a place to connect with everyone, anywhere, and as of 2023, it is used by more than 3 billion people every month.

“Facebook, when it started, was revolutionary,” Enberg said. “It’s hard to overstate the impact Facebook has had on everything from political culture to the way we behave online.”

He looked at Facebook’s famous “know” who posted pictures, messages or other “disclosures” that his system thought would attract users. The more users are involved in the relationship, the more it can work effectively advertising that focuses on the information of the people who share on Facebook.

It’s also credited with helping to open the door for content to “go viral” and make an impact on online-only advertising.

Facebook has earned a bad reputation for buying or publishing potential competitors, now boasting a “family” of apps that includes Instagram and WhatsApp. Zuckerberg, who still works at the company, maintains the idea of ​​investing heavily in acquiring users before sharing the financial markets that often involve advertising. Along with Google, Facebook has become an online advertising giant.

In 2022 – a bad year for the Silicon Valley company – its profits reached $23 billion. The platform “is part of the digital landscape”, especially for “millennials” born in the 1980s or 1990s, according to Enberg.

“It’s still unbeatable for advertisers thanks to its reach and effectiveness,” the analyst said on Facebook.

Business models based on the use of people’s personal data to provide attractive content and advertising campaigns have led to complaints and fines from Facebook. With the recent allegations that Russia used the platform to try to influence the results of the 2016 presidential election, the country was involved in the Cambridge Analytica data storage scandal.

In 2021, he came under fire over allegations that the administration had given money away from users’ safety and health. Despite everything, Facebook continues. And the tech titan’s expansion has allowed it to invest in innovations including artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

Facebook has changed the name of its parent company to “Meta” in late 2021, saying that this is because Zuckerberg’s vision of immersive virtual world called “metaverse” is the next major computer platform.

“We will not participate, but we will not stop because there is no other way,” says Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Creative Strategies, about the age of social relations.

Facebook also received attention with the addition of “groups” that allow users to create communities around interests, such as sports, celebrities or agriculture farm, which connects online but also in the real world. Also popular are products that allow people to buy or sell products.

“I joined Facebook because I knew my mom’s friends would be interested,” said California nurse Ruby Hammer, 18, about using the social network to make money. “And also, Marketplace, because I’m looking for a car.”

Hammer connects with colleagues by sharing photos on SnapChat and Instagram, not Facebook. The analyst Enberg called the 2012 purchase of Instagram as part of the lifestyle away from mobile phones is one of the best business decisions by Facebook.

This move removes a competitor, provides a new forum for advertising and attracts young Internet users who have lost interest in Facebook.

“More importantly, it gives the company an app that competes with Snapchat and TikTok,” which are the most popular among young people, according to Enberg.

Today, more than half of Facebook users are between the ages of 18 and 34, according to the online company DataReportal. But it is still difficult to measure the level of user engagement with social networks.

“I go to Facebook very little, but what I post on Instagram automatically appears on Facebook too,” says analyst Milanesi. “So I’m definitely considered ‘active’… The numbers don’t reflect the truth.”

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