Everybody knows the answer to the social media platform that has the most number of active users. The answer is Facebook and it is not all hard. People don’t even have to know the actual number to answer a question like that. This is mainly because of the popularity of Facebook and it is rightly so. Because Facebook has completely changed the way people viewed and used social media platforms. In fact, Facebook is the social media platform that inspired a lot of other social media platforms that are popular today. There is no exaggeration in saying that Facebook has revolutionized the way people communicate with each other. You will not find any social media application that is as popular as Facebook even today when you have a lot of other social media applications.
If you are someone who has been on social networking sites then you most probably would have created your first account on Facebook. Most people must have had a Facebook account before they started using other social media applications. Facebook not only had an impact on social media platforms but also the very way in which people interact. It connected the world in a way that people have never imagined. Facebook gave people all the options they would wish for in a social networking site. It allows you to share photos, videos, your current activities in the form of status, tag someone, comment on posts, like a post and etc. Not only that but you can also follow your favorite celebrities by subscribing to their Facebook page. The great thing is you can also create your own Facebook page.
But have you ever wondered how the social media giant was born? Let’s find out how Facebook became one of the most popular companies in the world.
Origins of Facebook
The story of the birth of Facebook is a very interesting one as it has a lot of controversy around it. If you know about Facebook then you most probably know about Mark Zuckerberg who is not only the current CEO but also one of the founding members. All of this has started when Mark Zuckerberg created a website called “Facemash” when he was studying at Harvard. This site was similar to hot or not. It used photos from an online directory of the university, put photos of two different individuals side by side, and asked the user to select the one who is attractive. This site had more than 450 users in the first four hours where people viewed 220,000 photos. The site was shut down by Harvard administration on charges of violating privacy and security which they later dropped.
This made Mark Zuckerberg a little popular in the university. Mark supposedly met Tyler Winklevoss, Cameron Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra to whom he agreed to help build a social networking site. Along with his friend Eduardo Saverin, Mark decided to invest $1000 for creating the site. They launched a social networking site on February 04, 2004, and named it “TheFacebook”. After this, the Winklevoss twins and Divya Narendra accused Mark of stealing their idea to create his own website. At first, this site was strictly meant for students of Harvard. Soon other students like Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Andrea McCollum joined Mark to help him manage the website. Within a month the site expanded to Yale, Stanford, and Columbia University. After that, it started spreading to more and more universities. But this was only the beginning of what was going to come.
The Rise of Facebook
As the website was expanding in 2004 Mark Zuckerberg met Sean Parker who was the co-founder of Napster which was a very successful website during that time. After their meeting, Sean became the president of the company and it was moved to Palo Alto, California. In 2005 the company dropped “the” from its name when it purchased the domain Facebook.com. By May of 2005 Facebook received a $12.7 million dollar investment for Accel Partners using which they launched a version of Facebook for highschools. In September 2006 Facebook opened up for everyone with an email address with criteria being 13 years or older. Microsoft purchased 1.6% of Facebook shares for a staggering $240 million. By doing this Microsoft acquired the rights for placing international advertisements. The company started to witness positive cash inflow in 2009.
In July 2010 Facebook already had 500,000 million users making it the most social networking service. More half of the users used the site for 32 minutes daily and 150 million users were doing it using their mobile phones. In 2012 when Facebook had its initial public offering it was valued at $104 billion which was highest at the time. Facebook’s IPO raised $16 billion which was the third-largest in the history of America. By October of 2012, Facebook had more than one billion active users and 600 million were using it on their mobile devices. In 2017 Facebook had two billion monthly active users.
Mark Zuckerberg is not only co-founder and CEO of Facebook but also the one who owns the majority of shares. He owns 400 million Facebook shares that have a market value of $82.2 billion. In other words, he owns the company because he has 57.9 % of the company shares. This made Mark Zuckerberg one of the top 10 billionaires in the world. The next major stakeholder is Vanguard Inc which one of the largest investment management companies in the world. The company which has $6.2 trillion in AUM owns 184 million shares of Facebook. These shares have a market value of $37.7 billion.
Another leading investment management and asset management firm BlackRock Inc also holds a significant number of shares on Facebook. Thi firm which has $6.4 trillion in AUM owns 158.2 million shares of Facebook. The market value of these shares is $32.3 billion. After BlackRock Inc, the company that holds a large number of shares of Facebook is FMR LLC. This company which is the largest financial service of the US owns 123.6 million. The value of all of its shares in the market is $26.1 billion.
Over the years Facebook had its fair share of controversy. The company was heavily criticized when it was accused of using the information of users. But people still are using Facebook hoping that it won’t interfere in their privacy. Whatever the allegations maybe but you cannot deny that Facebook has forever changed the way people interact with each other and also changed the marketing of products as well as brands. Even some of the most popular social media platforms like Instagram and WhatsApp are owned by Facebook.