Fifteen years ago, Mark Zuckerberg and his college friends founded an online website designed to connect with Harvard students.
Today, the site, now known as Facebook, has generated more than $55 billion in revenue, connected to 2.2 billion monthly active users, and employs more than 30,000 people worldwide.
The 34-year-old founder himself has also received a generous return. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, he was named the fifth richest person in the world with a net worth of $65.5 billion.
But for Facebook, the road to the top is not always smooth. In the process, a series of peaks and valleys emerged.
Let's take a look back at some of the most important milestones that have emerged in Facebook's development process.
1. Winkleworth twins sued Zuckerberg
The dramatic events of Facebook started very early. Less than a week after the release, several of Zuckerberg’s classmates, including Winkleworth twins Cameron and Taylor, claimed that Zuckerberg had stolen their ideas because Zuckerberg initially agreed to join them. Build a social networking site HarardConnection.com that focuses on Harvard University. These allegations were later dismissed by the Harvard principal. But in June 2008, Zuckerberg reached a settlement with the twins.
2. Accel Partnership's $13 million investment
More than a year after the launch of the site, Accel Partners, the world's top venture capital firm, announced plans to invest $13 million in the startup. Zuckerberg therefore boarded the "New York Times" "small business" layout. Accel said that since its launch in February 2004, Zuckerberg has attracted 2.8 million registered users from more than 800 campuses across the United States, which left a deep impression on it.
3. Yahoo failed to acquire Facebook
According to reports, in the summer of 2006, Zuckerberg agreed to Yahoo's proposed $1 billion acquisition. But that year Yahoo had a disappointing quarterly earnings report and caused the stock price to fall. Yahoo lowered the purchase price and was rejected by Zuckerberg.
4. Facebook has 100 million users
In August 2008, more than four years after Facebook was founded, Facebook announced that its number of registered users reached 100 million.
5. Facebook Acquisition Instagram
In April 2012, Facebook acquired the popular photo sharing app Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock.
6. Facebook listing
In May 2012, Facebook went public, raised more than $16 billion through IPOs, and received a $104 billion valuation. At the time, this was the highest valuation ever obtained by new listed companies in US history.
7. Facebook has reached 1 billion users
A few months after its launch, in September 2012, Facebook announced that it had 1 billion users.
8. 2016 presidential election
During the 2016 US presidential election, many accusations surfaced, saying that “fake news” was popular on Facebook, which was good for Trump's campaign. In order to influence voters, some false content spread on the Facebook platform.
9. Cambridge Analysis Company Data Scandal
In March 2018, both the Guardian and The New York Times disclosed that the personal information of 87 million Facebook users was sold to Cambridge Analytica. This is a political data analysis company that has worked for President Trump's campaign team. According to whistleblower Christopher Wylie, the data was collected through applications developed by Global Science Research.
10. Zuckerberg testifies in the US Congress
In April 2018, Zuckerberg attended a hearing at the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, talking about data breaches and how the company handled data.
11. Major data breaches
In September 2018, Facebook disclosed that a major data breach had jeopardized approximately 50 million users.
12. Prosecuted for the Cambridge Analytical Inc. scandal
In December 2018, Washington District Attorney General Karl Racine announced that he had filed a lawsuit against Facebook on the Cambridge Analytical Inc. scandal.
“Facebook allows Cambridge Analytics and other third-party applications to collect personal data without the user's consent, thereby putting users at risk of being manipulated. Today's lawsuit is to let Facebook fulfill its promise to protect user privacy. & rdquo; Racine said in a statement.
13. $100 billion loss
On July 26, 2018, Facebook became the first company to lose more than $100 billion in market value in a single day. After releasing disappointing earnings, the company's share price plummeted 19% and its market value fell from nearly $630 billion to $510 billion.
14. Recorded profits
Despite all the turmoil this year, Facebook has created a record $22 billion in profits. Its net profit for the fourth quarter of 2018 reached a record $6.88 billion. Zuckerberg said in a conference call with investors that he will start in 2019, “to make a clear plan for what we need to do now”.