Facebook's 10th anniversary: 10 interesting facts

On its 10th anniversary, we highlight some of the facts and figures related to Facebook, the defining social network of our time.

By Jayesh Shinde Published Date
04 - Feb - 2014
| Last Updated
04 - Feb - 2014
Facebook's 10th anniversary: 10 interesting facts

On this day, February 4, exactly 10 years ago, Mark Zuckerberg turned on TheFacebook.com from his Harvard dorm. Little did he know or comprehend at the time that he'd be giving life to an online entity that would truly become an indispensable part of every internet user's life. It's been a jolly ten years for Facebook's online juggernaut, making Zuckerberg one of the youngest billionaires in the world, and with a captive audience of every second person to connect to the internet. 

Here we take a look at some of the facts and figures related to Facebook. Some are well-known, others not so much. This is for Facebook. Happy birthday!

1) Facebook’s blue for a reason: Ever wondered why the world’s #1 social network is all dressed up in various shades of blue? It’s because Mark Zuckerberg suffers from red-green colour blindness, and is able to see the colour blue best, according to a CNN article. Does that explain his fetish towards gray hoodies and t-shirts? Probably not, but Zuckerberg claims it saves him time, so why not? Fair point.

2) 1.23 billion monthly Facebook users: It’s a mind-boggling number, but according to available data, Facebook had over 1.23 billion monthly active users by the end of 2013 on its social network. To put it in perspective that’s roughly one-sixth of the entire world’s population! And of those, 945 million active users accessed Facebook on mobile devices. 
3) Over 8 crore Indians on Facebook: According to research firm eMarketer, India is the second biggest market for Facebook with 84.9 million users (as of late 2013). Not surprisingly, the United States is the biggest market for the social network with 146.8 million users. While Facebook doesn’t release detailed user stats, it did confirm that 81 percent of its daily active users are from outside the US and Canada.
4) Online advertiser’s paradise: Starting to notice a lot of ads on Facebook recently, have you? No surprise. With so much analytical data on every user’s likes, dislikes, demography, friends and what not, Facebook is fast becoming a haven for online advertisers. According to latest numbers, over one million active marketers were on Facebook as of December2013, and the social network had 25 million small business pages in November. There’s no getting away from those ads, bud.
5) Al Pacino's Facebook: Believe it or not but legendary actor Al Pacino’s face was on the homepage of the original Facebook that Zuckerberg built out of his Harvard dorm. The photo was only replaced as recently as 2007 (three years since its inception) when Facebook redesigned its homepage for good. 

Yeah, that's Al Pacino's face right there.

6) P2P file-sharing feature: The early Facebook had a built-in peer-to-peer file-sharing service called Wirehog, developed parallel to the social network by Mark Zuckerberg and three others. One can imagine why, right? Back in the early to mid-2000s, when reckless file-sharing was at its peak (anyone here remembers KaZaA, Ares Galaxy?), before RIAA and MPAA embarked on their crusade of anti-piracy lawsuits, a file-sharing feature embedded in Facebook made total sense. Until it got axed in 2006. Bummer.
7) No one knows what a poke is, not even Facebook: If you check Facebook’s help center, it merely explains how a ‘poke’ works, but doesn’t define exactly what it is. According to the book The Facebook Effect, Zuckerberg allegedly said this to a query on Facebook pokes: “We thought it would be fun to make a feature that has no specific purpose... So mess around with it, because you're not getting an explanation from us." How very cryptic.

Seriously, I don't get it, man.
8) No longer popular with teens? With the meteoric rise of Snapchat, there have been rumblings about Facebook becoming less popular with “younger users.” Until iStrategy Lab, a digital consultancy firm, released a report in January 2014 confirming the trend. Facebook has over 4 million fewer high-school aged users and close to 7 million lesser college-aged users than it did back in 2011. Drat! 
9) Because more adults are obsessed with it now: Part of Facebook’s problem why it’s losing teen users is because more adults are on the social network than ever before. Facebook is used by 71 percent of all online adults, according to a Pew Research Center report. It also found that 84 percent of online Americans aged between 18-29 use Facebook, and so do 45 percent of those over the age of 65. Grandparents on Facebook? Seriously?
10) Half of internet users live with someone who’s on Facebook: According to a Pew Research Center report, among people who use the internet but aren’t on Facebook, 52 percent say that someone else in their family has a Facebook account. And 24 percent of such passive Facebook non-users who live with an account holder claim they look at photos or posts on that person’s account. 
The interesting question here is what’s preventing them from coming on to the social network? And how will Facebook grow in the next 5 years? Will we be still using Facebook when it celebrates its 20th birthday? 
Jayesh ShindeJayesh Shinde

Cower, puny human, for I am Big Daddy! The ground rumbles beneath my feet, the very air you breathe resonates to my primal roar. Mere mortals, I am the scourge of the n00bs, destroyer of worlds. Fear my might, tremble in my presence.