Editor's note: Facebook is 15 years old. After 15 years of development, Facebook has grown from a college social networking site to a giant. What did Facebook go through in the process? Recently, Wired magazine published an article that extracted 15 key moments in Facebook's development process. It is these 15 moments that define the current Facebook. The author is ISSIE LAPOWSKY, the original title of the article <15 MOMENTS THAT DEFINED FACEBOOK'S FIRST 15 YEARS”, compiled by 36 ,, I hope to bring you inspiration.
February 4, 2004, when “ Hey, hello! When the 19-year-old Harvard second-year student Mark · appeared, Zuckerberg and his roommates released their work on the humanity, TheFacebook.com.
In the eyes of them at the time, they could not even think about acquiring global domination. At least, they just put it on the human elite of Harvard University.
But in the past 15 years, Facebook's development has far exceeded anyone's expectations —— including Zuckerberg.
In June 2004, Wired magazine published its first article on it, comparing it to Friendster and other products.
Zuckerberg said, "I hope that a few people in Harvard will tell their friends, but I did not expect it to become this all-encompassing catalog. ”
At that time, success meant 250,000 users on the platform. In the past fifteen years, Facebook has added four more zeros to this number, from a university dating site to the world's most powerful communication engine.
Whether it's good or bad, Zuckerberg's creation has forever changed the connection between people, how companies make money, how politicians are in power, and how information flows between communities and cultures.
Here, grandmothers share photos of their grandchildren, and the state supports the “trolls” to launch cyber war against other countries.
This is how volunteers raise money for hurricane victims and how haters can call followers to kill.
How did this happen? We reviewed 15 moments in 15 years of Facebook, which made it what it is today and showed what it would look like earlier than most people realized.
1. Winklevos brothers sue Facebook
In 2004, Harvard students Winklevoss brothers, Cameron and Winklevoss, and Divya · Divya Narendra founded ConnectU to sue Facebook for default, TheFacebook .com is only 7 months old.
In the Oscar-winning film "The Social Network," the founder of ConnectU claims that Zuckerberg has plagiarized their ideas and violated his verbal contract for developing a social network for Harvard students. It was called HarvardConnection at the time.
A year ago, Zuckerberg released a website called FaceMash, which cloned a short-lived product, Hot or Not. This site made him in trouble at Harvard.
Because it used their photos without the student's permission, it also caught the attention of the founders of HarvardConnection, who asked Zuckerberg to help build their website.
According to later court documents and instant messaging, what they didn't know at the time was that although Zuckerberg seemed to be working hard for HarvardConnection, he was also developing TheFacebook.
After the Facebook was released, the HarvardConnection team filed a lawsuit in September and sent a letter to Zuckerberg asking him to shut down immediately.
Eventually the lawsuit ended in a settlement.
However, the fight with Winklevos provides an early perspective on how Facebook can use its skills, speed, and ultimately size to replicate or beat competitors.
2, News Feed released
In the beginning, Facebook was more or less just a directory of people's personal data. Killing time there means jumping from one friend's display wall to another to see the latest developments.
The News Feed, launched in September 2006, has changed all of this forever, creating a centralized stream on the user's home page where users can see updates from all their friends.
However, when Facebook turned on the switch for the News Feed, the user was irritated.
Suddenly, all their behavior on Facebook is visible to all of their friends.
In a blog post against Facebook, one user wrote predictively, “It is almost impossible to leave your information to yourself. ”
The impact of the News Feed provided Facebook with the first opportunity to defend its allegations of infringement of user privacy. Things are not going well.
& ldquo; calm down. Take a deep breath. We heard that, Zuckerberg responded to this strong opposition in a less sympathetic Facebook post. “Everything you do is not broadcast; it is shared with those who care about what you do ——your friends——. ”
A few days later, Zuckerberg apologized in an open letter saying "We really screwed this up" and announced new controls that allow users to control the content in their News Feed.
“When we launched News Feed and mini-Feed, we tried to provide you with a series of information about your social world,” he wrote. “On the contrary, we didn’t explain very well what the new features are. What’s worse, we didn’t let you control them. ”
This apology will become very familiar in the next few years.
But News Feed doesn't just remind users of the privacy risks inherent in all of these sharing.
It also began the process of integrating the information world into a constantly rolling, personalized world that fits the interests and beliefs of each user.
The News Feed took control from the publisher and handed it over to Facebook's powerful algorithms.
3. Start promoting business to the brand and publish Ads, Pages and Beacon
Zuckerberg launched the Facebook brand Ads and Pages in an event attended by hundreds of marketers in November 2007.
“In the past 100 years, the media has been selling to people,” he said, “but now marketers will be part of the conversation. ”
By inviting brands to have their own Pages on Facebook and expanding their Pages through advertising, Facebook not only created a very successful business model, but also promoted a new advertising model, a model that Google has already begun.
Instead of providing a general audience for advertisers like TV and print ads, Facebook gives them a way to use the long-term collection of user data from Facebook to find exactly who they want to reach.
On the same day in 2007, Facebook released another new product called Beacon, which allows companies to share consumer purchases with Facebook.
Facebook will then distribute this information to the user's friends. Just one year after the News Feed sparked protests, protests broke out again.
Zuckerberg apologized again and promised to let the user turn off Beacon.
“I am not proud of the way we handle this situation, I know we can do better,” he wrote in a post.
Facebook finally resolved the class action lawsuit faced by Beacon and completely shut down the product in 2009.
4. Hire Cheryl · Sheryl Sandberg
Facebook Chief Operating Officer Cheryl · Sandberg.
In 2007, Zuckerberg met Cheryl ·, then Google executive, at a gathering in Silicon Valley, where he was seeking help to transform his popular but unprofitable website. Become a legal business.
Sandberg, a former US Treasury employee, joined Facebook in 2008 as Chief Operating Officer, developing the company’s nascent advertising business into what it is today and dealing with its often unstable relationship with Washington. .
5. Launched Facebook Platform
Facebook has always insisted on not selling user data. But it does share this data with third parties, a decision that dates back to the launch of the Facebook Platform in 2007, allowing developers to develop games and other applications that integrate with Facebook.
A year later, it launched Facebook Connect, which allows people to log in to other websites using their Facebook username and password.
This is more than just a simple login method —— it also lets you see which of your Facebook friends are on these sites.
Over time, Platform and Connect evolved into the current Graph API.
Launched in 2010, the Graph API enables developers to access a large amount of data from Facebook users, including users' friends, a feature that has been controversial for many years.
When the Graph API was released, Wired reported that “when Facebook said it was just a reaction to our desire to become more regulated, there was a disturbing suspicion that it was actually creating this situation, and Not responding to this. ”
6, launch the Like button
When Facebook launched the Like button in 2009, the company created a new currency for the Internet.
It is not enough to just share all aspects of our lives.
The Like button satisfies people's persistent desire for recognition by turning each post into a popular competition.
Like began to drive corporate decision making and became an informal poll of politicians. They help posts spread like viruses.
They have also spawned a new profession, and those big Vs that get a lot of Like can make a living by selling products.
Facebook is not the first company to use this mechanism, but because of its size, the blue “thumbs” are becoming ubiquitous.
It has changed humans at a deep psychological level, and whenever we receive another notice, it will bring us sweet dopamine stimulation.
This will only encourage us to share more content. Ten years have passed and it is difficult for us to remember a world without it.
7. The Federal Trade Commission’s investigation of Facebook’s privacy settings ends with a consent statute
After the Federal Trade Commission concluded its investigation into Facebook's deceptive privacy practices, the company signed an order of consent in 2011.
In addition, Facebook promises not to distort the user's privacy and security settings, and to obtain user consent before modifying these settings.
This is one of the few regulatory actions in the United States for this company.
Eight years later, the Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether Facebook has fulfilled its promise.
A scandal involving a political consulting firm called Cambridge Analytica last year showed that until mid-2015, Facebook still allowed developers to access user friends' data without the user's explicit consent.
According to reports, the Federal Trade Commission is considering a “record fine” for Facebook that violates the agreement.
This will be the first time Facebook has suffered significant financial penalties for privacy issues, and the company has been plagued by privacy issues since its inception.
For a company with a market capitalization of more than $476 billion, even a record fine can be a small price.
8. Facebook and its business model are moving towards mobile
The growth of Facebook as a platform for other applications coincides with the rise of smartphones, which poses a challenge to the company.
As Zuckerberg said in a recent article, “Running a development platform is expensive and we need to support it. When the main way people use Facebook is on a computer, we support the platform by displaying ads next to the developer's app on the site. ”
But Facebook can't do this on mobile phones. So, around 2012, Zuckerberg considered whether to change the business model. With the company's IPO in May 2012, the pressure for growth is particularly large.
According to a batch of sealed internal e-mails released late last year, a proposal is placed on the desktop: Developers are required to purchase advertisements to obtain user data. In fact, this means that Facebook will start selling user data, and that's what it has vowed not to do.
In an email in October 2012, Zuckerberg summed up how such a process works:
Any other income you bring to us can be paid for in the amount you pay for using Plaform (sic). For most developers, this may completely cover the cost.
Facebook finally chose to oppose this approach. Instead, it doubled the number of mobile ads to help it weather the storm.
Since 2012, the company has distributed sponsorship ads on News Feed. Also in that year, Facebook launched a custom audience service that allowed advertisers to target users more precisely.
Last quarter, mobile advertising accounted for 93% of Facebook advertising revenue. This decision point in Facebook history represents a critical moment, both for companies and those who share information with them.
9. Acquisition of Instagram
This is the most sensible $1 billion investment in Facebook history. This photo sharing app was less than two years old when it was snapped up by Zuckerberg in 2012.
The acquisition of Instagram not only puts a potential competitor under the control of Facebook, but also helped the company win the support of a younger generation of users who are fleeing this “blue big application”.
Today, Instagram has more than 1 billion users. In a recent earnings conference call, Facebook announced that the app's "Stories" feature now has 500 million active users per day.
The company also integrated some of Instagram's most popular features, including Stories and photo filters, into Facebook's main applications.
In 2018, Instagram co-founders Kevin · Kevin Systrom and Mike & Middot; Mike Krieger left Instagram, reportedly because their autonomy was getting weaker.
Instagram may still only account for a small percentage of the company’s total advertising revenue, but it’s growing in new advertising revenues, which has led analysts to believe that Instagram is critical to Facebook’s long-term growth.
10. Launched Internet.org
Zuckerberg launched the Internet.org project in 2013 to make it easier for developing countries to access the Internet and Facebook.
purpose? Depending on who you ask, either altruism or want to conquer the world.
The plan is to use the drone to bring the Internet to people who are not connected to the Internet and work with mobile phone operators to give people a free access to a small number of applications.
Zuckerberg optimistically described this effort: “The developing countries have huge obstacles in connecting and joining the knowledge economy,” he wrote. “Internet.org brings together global partners to overcome these challenges, including providing Internet access to those who can't afford it now. ”
But in dozens of countries, the project is being protested, calling it a violation of the principle of net neutrality, making Facebook a janitor who sees what can't be seen on the Internet. They are worried that this will create a “single centralized checkpoint” where information flows freely.
Facts have proved that these concerns are valid. In countries like the Philippines and Myanmar, Facebook launched the so-called Free Basics project, and Facebook became synonymous with the Internet.
This brings some unintended consequences. In Myanmar, Facebook admits that it has fueled the spread of conspiracy theories and fueled the brutal violence against the local Rohingya.
Facebook has closed the Free Basics project in a number of countries including Myanmar. But Facebook continues to have an impact on these places.
In a recent earnings conference call, Facebook said that the Philippines and Indonesia, the two countries that launched Free Basics, are among the fastest growing markets.
11, Facebook announced changes to privacy settings
In 2014, Facebook announced that its Graph API will no longer allow developers to access user friends' data, and officially shut down this feature in April 2015.
The move sparked strong opposition from app developers who said they relied on the data, and a company called six43 is still legally fighting Facebook for this change.
This change is crucial for Facebook.
Over the years, the company has been providing developers with an unknown amount of data that belongs to those who never knew they were snooping on them.
If your friends agree to collect their data, you will also be the target of the attack.
Organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union are trying to sound the alarm of this loophole, but it will take years for the public to really notice the loophole.
When they finally did, Facebook's best defense was that it realized its mistakes and strengthened privacy protection.
However, after Facebook made this change for many years, there were still some problems, such as which companies got extended access to the data and why.
Last December, the New York Times reported that in 2017, Facebook also provided such access to companies such as Microsoft, Netflix and Spotify.
12. Facebook's hot topic tool triggered debate about party bias in 2016
In 2014, Facebook launched a hot topic feature as a way to show users the hot news of the day through the Facebook platform.
The company hired a final list of stories recommended by human editor Facebook algorithms. In 2016, during the climax of the US presidential campaign, Gizmodo published a report claiming that these editors “and often suppressed conservative news”.
The story spread throughout the right-wing media and the legislators noticed it.
Zuckerberg held a meeting of conservative thought leaders at Facebook's office, but this did not quell people's anger. In the end, Facebook succumbed to the right-wing complaints and removed human editors from the hot topic feature in the same year.
As Wired magazine later reported, this moment “makes the foundation for the most chaotic two years since Facebook existed. ” Without human editing, the algorithm began to recommend false news that everyone could see.
Facebook has been hit hard by being accused of prejudice against conservatives.
Republicans in Congress demanded that the company answer the question of the declining influence of far-right websites such as Gateway Pundit on oath.
Despite evidence that Facebook's algorithmic changes have led to a decline in traffic to various news publications, regardless of their party membership. As the company struggles to combat the spread of fake news, prejudice allegations will only continue to grow.
Last year, Facebook closed a hot topic.
13. Facebook recognizes foreign manipulation of US elections
In the fall of 2017, Facebook issued a statement: Before the 2016 election, it discovered 5,000 ads worth $150,000, which were purchased by a Russian troll group called Internet Research Agency.
In fact, the impact of this issue extends far beyond 5,000 ads.
Facebook also acknowledged that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) brought 150 million Americans to the Irish Republican Army through Facebook and Instagram, and they posted disagreements and sometimes racist posts that made Americans rival each other.
Of course, now we know that the Irish Republican Army is not the only group that spreads false information and publicity on Facebook, and Facebook is not the only platform for these global troll attacks.
Google, Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, and almost all other open platforms on the Internet have been hit by some sort of foreign manipulation movement.
These sports have continued to this day. Just recently, both Facebook and Twitter announced that they would close hundreds of accounts and pages that pretend to be people and groups that are not their own.
The information Facebook disclosed in 2017 forced the company and its Silicon Valley peers to keep a close eye on similar activities in every country in which they operate.
They also created some new transparency efforts that require advertisers to report who they are, how much they spend, and who the ads cover.
Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of cybersecurity, said not long ago that the company is doing better and better in discovering these activities and quickly destroying them.
But no one knows how to stop them completely.
14, Cambridge analysis scandal exposure
In March 2018, the world's parties had a clear understanding of data transactions and the role of Facebook as a major supplier.
At that time, there were reports that for the first time, Donald · Trump Presidential Campaign Consultant Cambridge Analytics collected the data of tens of millions of US Facebook users without knowing it, thanks to Facebook sharing user friends with developers. Data easing policy.
This is a policy that Facebook changed in 2015. But for most Americans, these details are not important because no one has taken back the data from companies like Cambridge Analytics that already have the data.
Facebook's stock price plummeted and the company was forced to take responsibility for its past actions. Zuckerberg is committed to rethinking all aspects of Facebook's business to protect user privacy.
However, whether these changes are purely superficial, there are still doubts.
Not long ago, it was reported that the company has been paying fees to 13-year-olds to download an app called Research, which allows Facebook to view everything that Research users do on their phones, including encrypted information. .
This Research app has striking similarities to Cambridge Analytics, and it also sees information from users and friends.
15. Zuckerberg testifies in Congress
Facebook CEO Mark · Zuckerberg said that Facebook does not sell user data, but a lawsuit alleged that the company seriously considered this.
After Harvard penalized Zuckerberg for 15 years for the FaceMash incident, Zuckerberg was summoned to a more powerful committee —— US Congress & mdash;— to explain Facebook’s scandals over the past two years, and The scandal's decision.
This is Zuckerberg's “Big Tobacco Company” moment: he has the opportunity to explain Facebook's trade-offs between growth and privacy, and people have the opportunity to ask him how Facebook treats competitors and have the opportunity to wonder if Facebook is really There are any real competitors.
We have not found all the answers to these questions.
If Facebook has any similarities in the next 15 years and the first year, then these are the issues. This will be a question we will always ask in the coming years.