Facebook: the Social Media of the 2010s
At the peak of Facebook, the tech giant had amassed over 600% of its original value in only 10 years. How was this possible?
To take an overview, at the end of 2009, Facebook was clearly on the rise. Under the leadership of its principal founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook doubled its user base, from 150 million in January to over 345 million in December. 2009 was also the year that the “like button” and user tag features were originally embedded.
Zuckerberg began his work on “The Facebook” (its name for the time) at Harvard in February of 2004. The service quickly became popular within the Ivy League and other Boston-based
colleges, eventually spreading to universities across the US. By the summer of 2004, Facebook was registered as an incorporation and was based in California, with a headquarters in the proximity of Stanford University.
The market carried on, allowing certain high schools and businesses to join, as well as US and
international universities. The company had already racked up 6 million members, but the
service really sprung once Zuckerberg opened the platform to all users. The real boast of
Facebook came once the smartphone era began in 2007.
In 2008, Facebook had amassed 100 million users, and found a niche in political advertisement, when Obama won what became widely known as “The Facebook Election.”
According to US News and World Report, "Obama enjoyed a groundswell of support among, for lack of a better term, the Facebook generation...He will be the first occupant of the White House to have won a presidential election on the Web."
Facebook overturned the internet in 2004, but it didn't become available in the financial world
until 2012, when it launched its initial public offering of stock. Following months of headlines and anticipation, the Facebook IPO took place on May 18, 2012. The company priced shares at $38 each, raising about $16 billion, and the shares hit $42.05 when they actually started trading.
However, NASDAQ suffered technical errors that prevented Facebook shares from being sold
for an entire 30 minutes after the initial launch of the IPO. Shares were finally available at 11:30
AM Eastern Time, but then the market promptly fell, leaving Facebook at a stable $38.23,
relatively close to the IPO. Facebook’s IPO and emergence on the NASDAQ was considered a flop.
The service is now relatively mainstream, with the acquisition of social media app Instagram,
Facebook now owns 36.64% of the social media market. At the end of 2019, Facebook boasts
2.45 billion active monthly users, almost one-third of the entire population of Earth.
Whether you support or oppose the social media giant, Facebook is arguably a major aspect of human life in the 21st century, not just prospering in the US, but now worldwide. Will Facebook always remain on top, or will it face competition in the next decade? Thoughts?