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Facebook is 17; Zuckerberg recounts the journey to 2.7 billion active monthly users

“Within 24 hours, 1,200 Harvard students had signed up (on Facebook), and after one month, over half of the undergraduate population had a profile.”

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Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg

A brief history of Facebook tells that in February 2004 Mr Mark Zuckerberg launched “The facebook”, as it was originally known; the name taken from the sheets of paper distributed to freshmen, profiling students and staff.

“Within 24 hours, 1,200 Harvard students had signed up (on Facebook), and after one month, over half of the undergraduate population had a profile.”

In a blog post on Thursday, February 4, 2021, Zuckerberg recalled how the journey started for the Company which now accounts for over 2.7 billion monthly active users. Facebook is the biggest social network worldwide.

Mark Zuckerberg in Lagos

Mark Zuckerberg in Lagos, during his visit to Nigeria in 2016 (Source: Zuckerberg/Facebook

His post:

“17 years ago, the first students signed up for Facebook and started connecting with friends. It’s been a wild journey ever since and I want to thank all of you for being part of this community. 

“I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together these last 17 years, but I’m even more optimistic about the years ahead.

“The world faces historic challenges right now and we’re committed to doing our part to help. Last year, we ran the largest voter information campaign in recent history and helped more than 4 million people register and vote. This year, we’ll run the largest worldwide campaign promoting authoritative Covid vaccine information to help put this pandemic behind us.

“We’re building the community infrastructure to support the diversity of communities needed for everyone in the world to join ones that are meaningful in their lives. I think this is one of the most important things we can do to help strengthen our social fabric.

“We’re building privacy-focused social platforms from the bottom up based on end-to-end encryption in WhatsApp and Messenger, and then building lots of private social tools like groups, video calling, payments, co-watching, and more on top of that foundation.

“We’re building commerce tools to give more than 200 million small businesses the same tools that historically only bigger companies have had — from tools to reach customers to ways to easily set up a shop on Facebook and Instagram even when your physical store is closed.

“We’re building the next major computing platform with augmented and virtual reality. It will deliver the experience of “presence” — that you’re right there with another person. It will open opportunities by letting you teleport anywhere without having to commute.

“And we’re building a new model of governance for online communities. The Oversight Board is one piece that provides independent and binding appeals, and now we’re working to establish more aspects of independent community governance in the years ahead.

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“If we can accomplish these goals, then the years ahead will be even more exciting than the 17 years so far. Thanks for being on this journey with us”.

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