Scott: Here is something to ‘Like’: the world’s largest social media site, Facebook, is turning ten today. And Demetrius Pipkin is looking at how one student’s idea became a part of our everyday language.
Demetrius: Almost everyone you know has been on it.
Dionecia Parhan: I don’t know anyone who’s not on Facebook.
Amber Hill: If you don’t have a Facebook, it’s like, ‘Whoa, why don’t you have a Facebook? It’s weird not to have a Facebook.’
Demetrius: More than 1 billion people are on Facebook. That is three times the population of the U.S. This little icon is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. It connects family and friends, informs and inspires. It has even been used to organize protests and topple governments.
Matthew Kriegsman: It’s shaped revolutions, like in Egypt. It shapes popular culture. It shapes what news is.
Demetrius: Facebook is worth about $150 billion, making it arguably the most successful social media platform of all time. Hard to believe it all started in a Harvard dorm room just ten years ago.
The Social Network: People want to go on the internet and check out their friends, so why not build a website that offers that.
Demetrius: Its beginning was made famous in the movie The Social Network.
In 2004, a young Mark Zuckerberg and three other Harvard classmates created a network to connect with other students at the school. The website quickly expanded to other Ivy League schools and by 2006, the virtual doors of Facebook were opened up to anybody claiming to be over the age of 13 with a valid email address.
Facebook quickly surpassed other social media platforms like Myspace. And in 2012, Facebook became a publicly traded company, meaning the company opened up to allow anyone to buy pieces of it. Mark Zuckerberg and other early investors became billionaires.
Over the past ten years, Facebook has had some growing pains. In fact, privacy concerns have been a major issue for the website. Many users claim that Facebook was poking around in their private and personal information and providing that content over to marketers to create more targeted advertisement. This led to a settlement last year where Facebook was forced to pay out $20 million between over 600,000 users.
And there are other challenges as well. Teenagers, who had once been the biggest users of Facebook, have dropped off 25% since 2011. Recent surveys say that 65% of those under 18 think Facebook was ‘losing its cool factor’.
Karly McNeil: Adolescents are more interested in the fast-paced, you know, Twitter, Instagram. It’s all much more compact and personalized.
Matthew: If you would have asked me five years ago, ‘is it cool?’ I would have said yes. But now, it’s just a necessity, just like having an email account.
Demetrius: Facebook is trying to hold onto its position of power, purchasing the photo sharing service Instagram back in 2012, which boasts more than 150 million active monthly users. And with billions of photos and status updates, documenting the histories of peoples’ lives, Facebook is still integrated into our culture. So the question is: will we still like Facebook ten years from now?
Karly: I think it will still be around, I just don’t think it will be as popular.
Dionecia: I doubt it’s going to ever go out. It may not be as popular, but I think it is going to stay at least for another ten years.
Demetrius: Demetrius Pipkin, Channel One News.
Scott: And speaking of Facebook, be sure to check out our Channel One News Facebook page for our latest stories and contests. And if you haven’t ‘Liked’ our page already, do that!