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Although Facebook may still sound current, the truth is that the social network is already 16 years old, and since itsCreation in 2004 Until today it has gone from being a project of 5 students to becoming a huge multinational valued at more than 500,000 million dollars.
The social network, which was initially called TheFacebook.com, was created at Harvard University (Massachusetts) to put students in touch, but his popularity soon skyrocketed.
At first, Facebook was a project of 5 people. Mark Zuckerberg, the current CEO, worked alongside 4 colleagues: Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes, all from the same dorm.
Apart from Zuckerberg, none of the co-founders are still part of Facebook, although several of them are millionaires thanks to shares in the company, and are part of other technology projects.
In the case of Eduardo Saverin, he even went to court with Zuckerberg, after accusing him of reducing the value of his participation in Facebook, although the issue was resolved with an out-of-court agreement.
Growth, acquisitions and profitability
The birth of Facebook was turbulent, but in 2004 the idea was already serious. Its founders settled in California, invested their own money, and hired 8 employees, in what was to be a "sabbatical year" from college
But the project began to grow, Facebook became popular and social networks became an essential part of our daily lives. Before long, Facebook was the hot topic and members were growing rapidly.
The social network gave way to Facebook, Inc. as parent company, a tech giant that went public in 2012, and whose revenue comes mainly from advertising.
As I grew older, Facebook began to buy companies. In 2012 bought Instagram for $1 billion, and two years later Facebook paid $19 billion for WhatsApp.
Google dominated the search market and had Android, Apple excelled in hardware with the iPhone, iPad and Mac, while Amazon controlled online shopping and Microsoft had Windows, Office and the business world.
So Facebook decided to focus on social networking and messaging, a highly profitable market, albeit overly dependent on advertising. Projects like the Oculus virtual reality headset have had limited success, and the Libra virtual currency is on the brink of failure even before launch.
Always questioned about privacy
One of the most important things for advertisers is that Facebook collects a lot of information from users, so they direct their advertising to the profiles they consider suitable.
Without forgetting that Facebook currently has some 2,500 million monthly visitors, a huge number that "forces" many people and companies to Have a presence on the social network to make yourself known.
There have been many Facebook privacy scandals, but they reached their peak with the United States general elections in 2016. Cambridge Analytica used Facebook's personal data to manipulate public opinion and many believe that this was the key to Donald Trump's victory.
Since then, it has redesigned its website and its apps, in addition to committing to responsible use of personal information, although with results that have not convinced everyone.
After 16 years of life, Facebook is a very successful company. Although the social network seems to have stagnated to some extent, Instagram and WhatsApp collect many of the disgruntled users, so they don't leave the firm's apps.
Privacy issues have greatly damaged Facebook's reputation, including the recent WhatsApp vulnerabilities, but the company remains immensely popular and profitable, does not stop launching news like Facebook Dating, and its short-term future seems guaranteed.
What do you think of the Facebook story? What future do you think awaits the platform that Mark Zuckerberg founded in 2004?