By Spencer Mann, Assistant Trending Editor
Being a mainstream social media platform for over a decade, many are familiar with the beginnings of Facebook. The story is one of success, as a college student’s project grew until a company that is capable of generating billions in revenue. Unlike the case of Google, Mark Zuckerberg still manages the entire operation, an impressive feat considering the international success of the brand. By the end of 2017, Facebook reported 1.4 billion daily users from around the world. That is an extravagant increase from the network that was once exclusive to Harvard students. While some are predicting a decline on Facebook, it remains the most used social media platform in the United States in 2018, with the Facebook Messenger app being the third most used social media tool.
The rise in fame for Facebook may have been a surprise to some, as Myspace, a previous platform, was founded on similar principles. Both networks give users the ability to create a curated source of contact for others, representing their life and interests. It was not until 2010, years after Facebook’s inception, that Myspace ceased being the most popular social media site in the world. While they may have been founded on similar ideas, Facebook took advantage of a few key features that set itself apart from the competition.
With the release of the iPhone in June 2007, many successful sites aligned themselves with the future of technology, adapting their content for use on both the computer and mobile devices. Facebook largely succeeded in this task, implementing a mobile app that allowed for on the go uses such as status updates. However, the site did not stop at being mobile friendly. Facebook lent itself to being a mobile chatting interface, launching messaging capabilities and an entirely separate app, Facebook messenger. Users appreciated the ease of performing many social abilities in one location, and the site went viral. Facebook became so popular that, in some cases, it became used for unintentional reasons. After it became a well-known platform, many users were uploading photos to their pages, causing Facebook to become one of the largest photo hosting platforms in the world. It was not until Facebook established itself as a sensible marketing option for businesses that the platform became a corporate (and political) phenomenon, leading to the current #deletefacebook movement seen today.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, April 10th print edition.
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