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Facebook, the university experiment that conquered the internet, turns 15

The most used social network on the planet forever changed the way we connect on the Internet.


Facebook, the largest social network in the world and ubiquitous in online personal interactions, either by itself or by the apps owned by it, Instagram and WhatsApp, has turned 15 years since its creation.

The network, which currently has 2,320 million monthly active users in the world, has its origins in a more primitive platform, Facemash, launched in 2003 with the aim of allowing university students to “score” the physical attractiveness of their peers through photographs, according to the EFE news agency.

Facemash generated strong controversy and was closed by university officials after remaining operational for just two days, during which time it won nearly 22,000 votes cast by up to 450 people.

That initial success encouraged the 19-year-old behind Facemash, Computer Science and Psychology student Mark Zuckerberg, to develop what would be the seed of today's company, “The Facebook”, along with his peers Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes.

Thus, on February 4, 2004, “The Facebook,” designed as a directory to publicize and connect students and university staff with each other, and 1,200 Harvard students joined in the next 24 hours.

The service quickly expanded to other universities in the country, after which it changed its name definitively to the current Facebook.

In September 2006, the platform took a leap forward that would mark its future, leaving it a restricted tool to education and becoming available to the general public.

Facebook thus laid the foundations of a business that would end up generating millions of dollars in the following years.

According to the latest data for 2018, Facebook received about 20% of Internet advertising revenues in the United States, only behind Google.

Just two years after starting to accept non-educational users, the platform became in 2008 the most used social network on the planet, a title it has not abandoned since that time.

After four years, in May 2012, Facebook went on the New York Stock Exchange, where it was the largest initial offer of sale (IPO) ever registered by an Internet company to date

Over the past few years Facebook continued to grow and adapted to the cell phone revolution, where around 90% of its advertising revenue currently comes from.

In the past two years, especially since Russian hackers used the platform — he said — to influence the US presidential election in 2016, the firm was involved in several polemics, placing it at the forefront of the debate on privacy and communication.in the Internet age.

Source: Télam

Publication Date: 04/02/2019

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