Over the last 11 years, what initially started as a simple collegiate social networking site has now become a global phenomenon. So how was Facebook created? Read on to see how the site was established, and why it went on to become the largest social network in the world.
Mark Zuckerberg was a 23-year-old psychology student at Harvard when he launched “The Facebook,” as it was originally known. Within 24 hours, “1,200 Harvard students had signed up, and after one month, over half of the undergraduate population had a profile” (TheGuardian.com).
Because of its overnight success, the network was extended to other Boston universities, the Ivy League, and eventually all US universities. Zuckerberg purchased the domain Facebook.com in August 2005 for $200,000, and the rest was history.
In the next year, the network grew beyond educational institutions. Anyone with a registered email address could now have a profile on Facebook, which opened up the social platform to the masses. As of the fourth quarter of 2015, Facebook had 1.59 billion monthly active users. The site has become the leading platform for digital advertising. Below are the three key factors that will continue to continue to help drive Facebook’s growth (via Forbes.com):
Mobile and Video Advertising
In the second quarter of 2015, Facebook’s mobile platform had generated 76% of its total advertising revenues. This drastic statistic is due to the shift from advertising on PCs to smartphones and tablets.
Online video is emerging as well, with Facebook now enabling video in all types of advertising objectives: Like Ads, Promoted Posts and Website Traffic campaigns. The social platform’s new user feed algorithm will be prioritizing video content.
Monetization of WhatsApp
As of September 2015, Facebook reported that the number of monthly WhatsApp users had reached 900 million. Currently, businesses can set up accounts on the platform to ‘send content or marketing messages to users who are willing to interact with them.” However, Facebook plans to eventually charge businesses for this opportunity to connect with potential consumers. Because of the size of the WhatsApp user base, the revenue potential for this could be enormous.
Facebook just recently started to monetize this platform by integrating advertisements into users’ feeds. With similar ad targeting capabilities and a large active user base, Instagram has substantial revenue potential as well.