If Facebook were a person — wrap your head around that for a second — it would now be in fourth grade. It debuted on February 4, 2004, so, by simple math, it turns 10 today. Weird. I’ve written about Facebook a couple of times on this blog — here and here, for example — and I just had a conversation last night with a guy about how best to market a business on the site. ‘Twas interesting and long and I’m not sure I knew exactly what I was talking about. Anyway, I digress.
There are a ton of “Facebook at 10” articles on the Internet today, and I’ll probably link to a few later in this post. Here’s a good one from Pew Research, which specifically looks at “Facebook user dislikes:”
Interestingly, “FOMO” — or “fear of missing out,” i.e. seeing photos of your friends together and realizing you weren’t invited — was a larger problem in the earlier days of Facebook. Now, apparently 84 percent of people polled say they don’t care about this aspect; the biggest problem seems to be over-sharing (yea, that’s a huge problem) and tagging you in content without your permission (I know a few girls in grad school who literally lose their f’n minds over this, which seems weird but I guess it’s kind of a personal invasion of space in some ways).
Men and women have different reasons for going on Facebook, apparently, but broad things you’d assume — like “seeing news” or “getting support from one’s network” — are low-level and consistent across gender. Women are much more likely to report going on to see photos or videos. (If you read between the lines, this means that women are a non-text-post marketer’s dream, but I guess women have always been a marketer’s dream.)
Couple of other interesting things to note quickly: Facebook is basically a mobile company now (over 50 percent of its users access it via a device), Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In) doesn’t plan to leave, some believe it “masterfully exploited a generation,” and it just rolled out this new app, Paper, which is basically a newspaper-like way to consume updates — and currently doesn’t have any ads/sponsored content (it probably will eventually, though).
So, happy birthday, Facebook. It will be super interesting to see where you are when you can drink — because in 11 years, those teens who may or may not love you right now will be college-age and beyond. Where are you headed?