20 Years Of Facebook In 10 Landmarks: A Definitive Timeline


20 Years Of data-facebook In 10 Landmarks: A Definitive Timeline

Facebook 20 Years: Check out how far this social media giant has come. From lawsuits to several other controversies, data-facebook has seen it all.

Facebook 20 Years

On this day 20 years back, a Harvard Sophomore, Mark Zuckerberg, along with his roommates, unveiled TheFacebook.Com before their batchmates. The journey of both Zuckerberg and data-facebook has been like a rollercoaster ride filled with ups and downs. The first controversy of this journey kicked off with the founders of ConnectU, a startup founded by Harvard students, accused Zuckerberg of stealing their idea and presenting it as his own, to him having to testify before the US Congress. 

Let us have a look at the timeline of Facebook's biggest moments in the past 20 years

2004 — Winklevii Suing Facebook

ConnectU, a startup founded by Harvard students Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and divya Narendra, sued TheFacebook.com for breach of contract in 2004. The ConnectU founders alleged that Zuckerberg stole their idea and presented it as his own. As per their claims, he breached an oral contract that he made to develop a social network for Harvard students which was called the Harvard Connection back then. The HarvardConnection founders approached Zuckerberg for help in building the website but they were unaware of the fact that he was simultaneously building data-facebook based on the same idea.

2006 — news Feed Launch

Earlier data-facebook was more or less just a directory of people's profiles. The launch of news Feed in september 2006 changed things and Zuckerberg never looked back. Users were outraged with their actions being visible to all their friends. Users said that it became almost impossible to keep their information to themselves. data-facebook initially defended it by saying that the information of users is being shared with their friends.

The news Feed wrested control away from publishers, putting it in the hands of Facebook's almighty algorithms. However, later Zuckerberg apologised and said, "We messed this one up." 

2007 — data-facebook Launches Ads

Zuckerberg launched data-facebook Ads and Pages for brands in november 2007. Instead of offering advertisers a general audience like television and print advertising, data-facebook gave them a way to find exactly the people they wanted to reach by using all the data that the social media platform had collected on its users over time.

Facebook also launched another product called Beacon. Through Beacon, businesses shared information with data-facebook about what their customers were buying. data-facebook would then broadcast that information to the friends of users friends. data-facebook eventually settled a class-action lawsuit over Beacon, and it shut the product down entirely in 2009.

2009 — data-facebook Launches Like Button

The company created a currency for the Internet in 2009 when it introduced the Like button. The Like button fed human beings' constant craving for validation by turning every post into a popularity contest. It also became an informal poll test for politicians. Facebook was not the first company to do this but because of its scale, the blue thumbs-up became ubiquitous. 

2011 — FTC Investigation Into Facebook's Privacy Settings Concludes With Consent Decree

After the FTC concluded an investigation into 'deceptive privacy practices at Facebook', the company signed a consent decree in 2011. Among other things, the company promised not to misrepresent users' privacy and security settings and to obtain consent before making changes to those settings.  However, a political consulting firm called Cambridge Analytica in 2018 revealed that until mid-2015, data-facebook was still giving developers access to users' friends' data without their explicit consent which violated the decree.

2012 — data-facebook Changing Its business Model To Focus On Mobile

Facebook shifted its focus from operations on PCs to smartphones. The company doubled down on advertising on mobile to ensure its sustenance. Starting in 2012, data-facebook placed sponsored ads in the news Feed itself. In the same year, it also launched Custom Audiences, which allowed advertisers to even more precisely target users. Instagram was less than two years old when Zuckerberg snapped it up in 2012 at the price of $1 Billion. The company has also incorporated some of Instagram's most popular features, including stories and photo filters, into the main data-facebook app.

2015 — data-facebook Announces Changes To Privacy Settings

In 2014, data-facebook revealed that its Graph API would no longer permit developers to retrieve users' friends' data, and subsequently discontinued this functionality in april 2015. This decision sparked criticism from app developers who asserted their dependence on the now-restricted data access.

2018 — Cambridge Analytica

In march 2018, a global realization unfolded regarding the extensive data trade, highlighting Facebook's pivotal role as a major contributor. The alarm was sounded when initial reports revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a consultant for Donald Trump's presidential campaign, had surreptitiously harvested the data of millions of American data-facebook users. This was made possible by Facebook's lenient policies on sharing user data with developers, a policy that the social media giant had modified in 2015. Despite the policy change, most Americans found themselves powerless to retrieve their data from entities like Cambridge Analytica that had already acquired it.

2021 — Censoring Messages Critical Of israel, Supporting Pro-Palestine Movement

Facebook was accused in 2021 of censoring messages that were critical of israel and supportive of Palestine. During the conflict over the Sheikh Jarrah property dispute in 2021, data-facebook was accused of deleting hundreds of posts critical of Israel.

2021 — data-facebook Becomes Meta

Mark Zuckerberg revealed the corporate name of data-facebook would transform "Meta," as part of a rebranding effort amidst extensive scrutiny of its diverse platforms following the exposure of hundreds of internal documents by a whistleblower. Additionally, in march 2022, Washington, DC Attorney General Karl Racine filed a lawsuit against Meta, accusing the company of allegedly deceiving the public regarding its management of privacy and personal data, particularly about the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

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