On Monday 4th February, Facebook celebrated it’s 9th birthday. Did you get the notification to write on their wall and wish them a happy birthday? Me neither. I was probably too busy reading my own birthday messages, as it seems that Facebook and I share the same momentous date to celebrate each year! Anyway, can you believe it’s been NINE years since a website was launched from a Harvard University dorm room, and now has over one billion users worldwide? We thought we’d take a moment to reflect on the impact this one website has had on how many of us live our lives.
In 2004, Facebook introduced the Wall. A place where you can write your thoughts, or “status” updates to let your friends know what you’re up to. Then in 2006, the News Feed became the central place for all those “status” updates and posts to be displayed for all your friends to see in one place. This caused quite a stir, as any changes to the site seem to! It also made the site far more social than it had ever been.
In 2008 Facebook took on other instant messaging sites, and brought in the “chat” feature where you can view which of your friends are currently online, and then have message conversations with them.
Can you believe it’s only been 4 years since we were first introduced to the “Like” feature? Yep, back in 2009 the introduction of a little thumbs up symbol that was soon to change how people and brands viewed Facebook.
In 2010 Facebook became a little more mobile friendly by introducing the “location” feature. This made it possible for users to pinpoint their exact location in a post on their wall (and causing many to reassess their privacy settings).
Then a more recent, and perhaps most controversial feature, was the introduction of the Timeline in 2011. You may remember discussions amongst your friends about the pros and cons of this. There were those who were quick to adopt it and set up milestone dates throughout their life; while others sat back tut-tutting about how it ruins the way they use Facebook. But of course, Facebook had the final say on this in January 2012, when it made the Timeline feature compulsory for all users. Like it or lump it.
For me though, Facebook has not only helped me keep in touch with all my overseas and interstate friends/family (to the point where I curse that I lived overseas before Facebook was invented, and therefore have lost contact with numerous people); it has become a useful planning tool to keep up with any events and birthdays. Remember the days when you used to have to rely on a calendar to remind you of friends’ or family members’ birthdays? That’s SO old-school now, thanks to Facebook. The difficulty now is when you’ve got friends who do not have a Facebook profile, it really tests the quality of your friendship when you do or do not remember someone’s birthday without the little reminder popping up on your timeline! I guess I’m not “friends” with Facebook, as I never got the reminder about their 9th birthday, but hopefully it was a happy occasion over at Facebook HQ!