February 4, 2014 12:30 pm

Facebook turns ten: How times have changed

Watch the video above: Facebook turns 10. Where will it be at 20? Peter Kim reports. 

TORONTO – Facebook turns 10 on Tuesday.

Feeling old yet?

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That’s right, just three days before Mark Zuckerberg decided to launch “Thefacebook” at Harvard University in February 2004, the world was still recovering from the shock of seeing Janet Jackson’s nipple at the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show.

Pop-group OutKast’s single ‘Hey Ya!’ was at the top of the Billboard Top 100 list, Mel Gibson’s The Passion Of the Christ was in theatres, and the original Myspace.com was the dominant social networking site.

At the time, Facebook was a social network for Harvard students only. There were no ‘Likes,’ there was no chat feature, and selfies were a rarity.

This is what Facebook profile’s looked like when first introduced in 2004. (Image courtesy of Facebook Inc.)

By December 2004 Facebook had reached over one million users; but it wasn’t until late 2006 that the social network expanded to allow anyone to register.

How times have changed.

Since its release a movie has been made about Facebook’s rise to fame, it has acquired the fast-growing photo-sharing app Instagram, and held its initial public offering.

On its tenth birthday, Facebook will have over one billion monthly active users to celebrate with – including millions of Canadians, who (according to the company’s data) are the most active Facebook users in the world.

READ MORE: Facebook tests ads in outside mobile apps

Facebook has remained at the top of the social networking food chain – despite reports of losses to its teen audience.

Last month the Global Web Index’s (GWI) quarterly report on global trends in social media showed that Facebook topped the list for account ownership and active users, with 56 per cent of users logging in more than once a day to check their friends’ status updates.

“It’s been amazing to see how people have used Facebook to build a real community and help each other in so many ways,” said Zuckerberg of the anniversary.

“In the next decade, we have the opportunity and responsibility to connect everyone and to keep serving the community as best we can.”

To celebrate the anniversary, Facebook has created a feature called “A Look Back,” which takes users through a visual tour of highlights from their time with the social network. For those who grew up during Facebook’s rise to fame, that feature may be a bit frightening (think embarrassing high school memories), but nostalgic nonetheless.

Users can view their own look back by going to www.facebook.com/lookback when logged into their account.

READ MORE: Facebook may be losing its teen audience, but it’s thriving with adults

But not everyone will love this nostalgic view of history — according to a survey released Monday by Pew Research, the “over share” is becoming a turn-off for some users.

Thirty-six per cent of Facebook users said they strongly disliked people sharing too much information about themselves on the site, and 24 per cent of users didn’t like feeling pressured to share too much information about themselves with their friends list.

But the Pew Research study also found that users still turn to Facebook for sharing and keeping in touch with those close to them, noting that 47 per cent of users studied said photo and video sharing is a major reason they still use the site.

A look back at Facebook’s history. (Graphic courtesy of Facebook Inc.)

© Shaw Media, 2014

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