It is hard to imagine a time without Facebook, the largest social media platform. In fact, if you are 16 and under, you cannot imagine a time without it! In honor of Facebook celebrating its 16th year of existence this past February, we thought it would be neat to look at the evolution of the social media giant.
2004: Mark Zuckerberg, a Harvard student, started working on a site that was called “theFacebook.” “theFacebook” was only offered to Harvard students at the time, but it had the same concept of being able to connect students. By the end of 2004, Facebook was open to all colleges and universities and people were anxious to sign up.
2005: “theFacebook” receives more money from investors. Finally, “the” was dropped from its name and we now have Facebook!
2006: Facebook was open to everyone over 13, with a valid email address.
2007: Facebook Marketplace was born, where people could buy and sell products or services. This was also the year Facebook started to go beyond just personal profiles and opened pages for businesses. They started to make their advertising plans.
2008: This was a pivotal year for Facebook, when Facebook Chat, People You May Know, Facebook Connect, and the Facebook Wall were introduced.
2009: Facebook user numbers continued to grow at rapid speed. This was also the year Farmville was introduced. At the end of 2009, Facebook became the most popular social media platform.
2011: According to Nielsen, Facebook became the 2nd most visited website, with 1 trillion pageviews! Facebook Messenger was unveiled. “Sponsored Stories,” a program that placed paid advertisements directly on users’ news feeds, was released.
2012: Facebook acquired Instagram. The mobile ads program was released. While consumers were not happy with the ads, this was a pivotal step for advertisers.
2013: Facebook joined the Fortune 500.
2014: Facebook acquired another messaging system, WhatsApp. WhatApp gave Facebook more overseas—and a younger—user base. Facebook’s new ad structure was introduced, making it easier for advertisers to measures ads.
2015: Instead of just being able to “like” a post, the reactions “love,” “hate,” “haha,” “disgust,” “sad,” and “wow” were developed. Video calling and Facebook Live were introduced. Instant Articles was rolled out in May of 2015, where publishers would be able to set up versions of their articles that were hosted by Facebook. Publishers could now get revenue through advertising.
2016: The Facebook algorithm was changed, and it was announced that posts from family and friends would take precedence. The algorithm also would allow Facebook to show stories that aligned with the user’s interests. Sponsored Messages and Click-to-Messenger ads were added to Facebook’s Messenger platform.
2018: A new Facebook algorithm was introduced, and it was not good news for businesses. A user’s news feed would be even more focused on friends and family. Organic reach for nonprofits and other organizations were in trouble unless they started to pay for ads.
2018-2020: Facebook ad formats are continually expanding. Now, in 2020, they offer eight different advertising options: video, photo, stories, messenger, slideshow, carousel, collection, and playable content.
What does this evolution mean to you or your organization? Facebook advertising is constantly changing and will continue to evolve. Keeping up to speed with these changes is vital to be able to optimize the growth of your business. Lucky for you, we have experts at Infinity Concepts who are keeping up at rapid speed!
Let Infinity Concepts help you with social media advertising!
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