On February 4, 2004, Mark Zuckerberg co-founded Facebook and has, in the next ten years, turned it into a billion-dollar corporation. Not bad for a website. But Facebook is more than a website. It’s social media; it is both how we stay connected with our actual acquaintances and how we acquire and filter much of our daily information – news, political issues, even recipes.
Walk back with me to a time more than ten years ago, before Facebook. There were other social media outlets. The first that pops to my mind is Myspace, which still exists as a space to “discover, share, and connect with videos, music [and more].” I know it still exists because I just checked. Which is to say, I have no idea what my login information is as I don’t know that I’ve used it since college, which incidentally was well over ten years ago. But who’s counting?
Facebook has managed to create something that is useful for people. As Zuckerberg is quoted in this article on NPR, "Those angles on coolness are kind done for us. But I've never focused on that. What I've focused on is: Are we providing something fundamental that people can rely on and use and that's valuable every day?"
As our culture becomes more mobile, social media sites are increasingly important for maintaining connections. Facebook is almost exclusively how our family (all of whom are at least 4.5 hours away) keep up with what our kid looks like. I may occasionally send a text photo, but it’s typically easier to just click a few photos and post them at once from my phone to Facebook. That also means that Facebook has become something of a receptacle for my photos. The thought of moving all of those images from the last ten years to some other site is daunting, which means that even though I use Facebook a little less than I used to, I’m not going anywhere else for a while.
Well played, Facebook. And, Happy Birthday to you.
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