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Few compare to the unbelievable growth and worldwide change that Facebook has attained, with relevance to 21st-century online success stories. Initiated in 2003 by a miscellany of Harvard University students, the website has gone on to become one of the Internet’s top businesses, gloating over one billion members as of 2012.

 This is a website where every user can make registration and create an account for free. By creating a Facebook profile, the user can fill different information about himself and share content with others. 

I can surely say that there is no online user that hasn’t heard the name Facebook. Initiated in 2003 by a miscellany of Harvard University students, the website has gone on to become one of the Internet’s top businesses, gloating over one billion members as of 2012. 

Mark Zukerberg


Founded on February 4, 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo SaverinDustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes in a  Harvard dorm room, Facebook has swiftly become one of the greatest social networking sites in the world. Over the year, the social networking site emanated over 1 million users- which has since grown exponentially to hit over 2 billion in 2018. Mark Zuckerberg encountered an incredible success of Facebook.


But Before there was facebook, there was facemash what actually happened ??

Zuckerberg, in 2003, as a sophomore created a site that compared the pictures of different Harvard students’ faces and allowed users to rate the attractiveness of those pictures – attracting 450 people to vote 22,000 times. However because Zuckerberg violated the school’s system to acquire photos for the site, it was shut down quickly by the University – within two days. Still, Zuckerberg avoided expulsion. Facemash’s success sparked the idea for Facebook – a social networking site where students at Harvard could use their “.edu” email addresses and photos to connect with other students at the school.


Along with Moskovitz, Saverin, and Hughes, Zuckerberg created the address thefacebook.com in February of 2004, and it began to spread like wildfire at Harvard –  and them Stanford, Yale, and Columbia by March of that year. And from here the spectacular journey of Facebook began…..

More about Facemash

Facebook Timeline

    February 2004 – Zuckerberg, Moskovitz, Saverin, and Hughes founded Facebook (then called “thefacebook”).

         March 2004 – The site spreads to three other college campuses – Yale, Columbia, and Stanford. 

    June 2004 – The site moves its headquarters to Palo Alto, California. 

     September 2004 – launches the now-infamous “wall” – which allows users to post things and receive messages on their page. 

     December 2004 – The site hits 1 million users. 

     May 2005 – The site expands to over 800 college campuses. 

     September 2005 – It expands to high school networks. It  drops the “the” to become just “Facebook.” 

     October 2005 – The site adds photos and goes international.

     December 2005 –Facebook has over 6 million users.

     April 2006 –The site goes mobile.

     September 2006 – Anybody can now join.

     December 2006 -Integration increases to 12 million.

     June 2007 –Facebook launches video.

     December 2007 – Integration increases to 58 million.

     July 2008 – Get going on Facebook for iPhone. 

     February 2009 –Introduction of the “like “ button.

     July 2010 – Above 500 million active users.

     August 2010 – Engineering center is opened in Seattle.

     October 2010 –Launching of groups.

     April 2011 – Datacenter opens in Prineville, Oregon.

     July 2011 – Launching of video callings 

     April 2012 – Accession of Instagram is announced.

     May 2012 – The site issues its IPO – which raised $16 billion and gave the company a $102.4 billion market value.

     October 2012 – Integration hits the 1 billion mark.

     February 2013 – Accession of Atlas is announced. 

     June 2013 – The site’s accession of Instagram launches video.

     February 2014 – Accession of WhatsApp is announced.

     March 2014 – Accession of Oculus is announced.

     November 2014 – Groups App is announced. 

     April 2015 – Above 40 million small business pages are on Facebook.

     June 2015 – The site’s AI Research opens in Paris.

     February 2016 – The site’s Reactions launches. 

     July 2016 – Over 1 billion users of Messenger a month

     October 2016 – Marketplace launches – allowing users to buy and sell products.

     April 2017 – F8 developer’s conference is held in San Jose.

     March 2018 – Facebook sued by shareholders following stock plummet.

     April 2018 – Zuckerberg testifies before Congress regarding concerns over data and privacy breaches.

     September 2018 – Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg testifies before Congress alongside Twitter.

Facebook: Growth over the time

In both active users and time spent on the platform, Fb continues to grow every year since it launched in 2004. Knowing who’s using the platform and how they are using, Facebook is still the most used social platform with nearly 2.45 billion monthly active users it can make a difference when crafting a Facebook marketing strategy.

Because the platform changes and evolves so frequently, staying on top of statistics like demographics, usage, and other platform trends, is key. Here are important Facebook stats and figures you should know when creating your 2020 strategy for the platform.


Facebook demographics

It might seem like everyone is using Facebook, but knowing particular social media demographics for a platform can give you insights into the type of people using it the most. Here are key user demographics for the average Fb user in 2020.

• Users 65 years and older are the fastest-growing group on Facebook

facebook demographics

74% of Facebook users are high-income earners

Facebook use is prominent among high- earners, and even surpasses LinkedIn, which reaches just 49% of users making more than $75,000. YouTube is the only social media platform with more reach at 83% of high-income earners.


Facebook Usage Statistics

Knowing who is using the platform is step one. The next step is knowing how these users are engaging with Facebook.

1.62 billion users visit Facebook daily.

While it might seem like there’s an urge to use social media less, the data shows otherwise. Facebook’s overall active users continue to increase every year across the platform as a whole. Among active US Facebook users, 74% of people use the site every day.

88% of Facebook users are on the platform to stay in contact with friends and family

facebook users

Where you once had to make long-distance calls to keep in touch with friends and family, you’re now only a click away from maintaining better relationships. According to Statista, Facebook is a platform all demographics use to stay in touch.

Reason Behind success

There’s no secret that Facebook is one of the hottest Silicon Valley startups. They gloat over 24 million currently active users, including a stunning 85 percent of the lucrative college market share for social networking in the U.S. ComScore says that Facebook is now the sixth most popular website in the States. It has not always been this way. It’s incredible success is relatively new. So, how did Facebook achieve this level of popularity?

1) Straight forwardness

It is a very straightforward way to keep track of and communicate with your friends and co-workers. A lot of Facebook’s success is due to its simplicity. The user interface is completely self-explanatory and easy to use. Facebook’s interface is the polar opposite of MySpace’s, which allows users to insert their HTML code to customize their pages to a nauseating extreme. The consistent look and feel of Fb pages make it much easier to navigate and use for extended periods. This is the key feature of the Facebook success story.

2) Privacy

One more great selling point for Facebook is the privacy controls that they have put in place. Only people who have verified that they are in your same network (school, company, or region) can see your profile, by default. That can be even further restricted to allow only friends to see your profile. MySpace also offers similar privacy controls, but Facebook’s use of networks creates an increased perception of privacy. On MySpace, your profile is either public or exclusive to your friends, while on Fb, it can still be exclusive to your friends, but it can also be open to people who it would be useful to network with. This has caused a lot of college kids to flock to it, in search of a more closed network than MySpace.

3) News feed

Released in September of 2006, Facebook’s News Feed feature, gives users quick and easy access to interesting information about their friends from the home page. Although this was a controversial feature at first and sparked a lot of uproar about privacy, I think that it has become one of Facebook’s defining features. Above everything else, it allows for discovery. When I see an item that reads “23 of your friends have joined the group ‘A tribute to those who passed at the Virginia Tech Shooting’,” that has a big impact.

4) The developer platform

Facebook lately has been the introduction of its developer platform. It has given developers some powerful tools to write applications that can be used within the site. While the inclusion of these third-party applications takes away from my first point, simplicity, it more than makes up for it in increased functionality. Developers are just beginning to scratch the surface of what they can do. We are already seeing a few cool applications like Graffiti, which lets visitors to your profile draw you a picture. I think that given some greatly improve the overall experience on Facebook. This is how Fb became successful.

All of these factors put together make for a very appealing social networking experience that keeps users coming back. I expect that we will continue to see a tremendous amount of growth for Facebook in the coming months.

Greatest Innovations :

Facebook has 1.26 billion registered users who record 3.2 billion likes per day. The company can also claim one of the most successful initial public offerings in history, and despite criticism that it’s dead to teens (or dying in general), the social network continues to expand into new avenues and new global markets.

5 greatest innovations of Facebook as follows:

1) wall and messaging

Facebook launched in February 2004 with a key feature called The Wall. It served as the original profile space for users. You could post on your wall (text only) or your friends’, and in May 2008, each profile had a Wall-to-Wall limit of 40 messages. The Wall also listed changes to a given user’s profile, like when their profile picture was edited, or if they added new friends. Another key feature of Facebook available since its inception is personal messaging, which allowed Its users to message one or more friends at a time.

2) Newsfeed streams your friends activities

On September 6, 2006, the social network introduced the first of a series of major changes to the overall Facebook experience: News Feed. It’s still the first thing we see every time we open up Facebook: a reverse chronological (well, originally) log of our friends’ Facebook activities. News Feed compiled status updates, profile changes, birthdays, and upcoming events, among other things. It also featured a Mini-Feed on your profile page, which was a timeline of your activities.

3) A marketplace to sell products and services

Possibly trying to capitalize on the continued success of Craigslist, Facebook introduced Marketplace in May 2007. You could post free classified ads (available or wanted) in one of four categories: For Sale, Housing, Jobs, and Other. Facebook gave up on Marketplace in 2009 – presumably, because it wasn’t seeing much usage – transferring ownership to Oodle.

4) Introduction to like button

In February 2009 Facebook debuted perhaps its most iconic feature: the Like button. Do you remember Facebook before the Like button? Neither do I.

 Indicated by a blue-hued thumbs up, an icon that now adorns the Facebook campus, the Like button lets you show support, interest, or good humor in someone else’s post. The Like button eventually expanded outside the confines of Fb in April 2010. By September of that year, 350,000 sites installed Like buttons directly on their webpages. Today we click the Like button 3.2 billion times each day.

5) Sending messages

It gave all users @facebook.com email addresses and combined email, regular messages, text messaging, and instant messaging. Mark Zuckerberg introduced the Facebook Messages service on November 15, 2010. On Android, beginning in December 2012, you could even use Fb Messenger without a Facebook account with just your name and phone number.

Challanges faced by facebook

1) Facebook Debuts newsfeed

The curated feed was intended as a central destination so users didn’t have to browse through friends’ profiles to see what they had changed. It was only two years old when it introduced News Feed on Sept. 5, 2006

Facebook had about 8 million users at the time, and not all of them were happy about every move of their personal life being blasted into a daily feed for their friends.

An estimated 1 million users joined “Facebook News Feed protest groups,” arguing the feature was too intrusive. But Facebook stayed the course.

“One of the things I’m most proud of about Facebook is that we believe things can always be better, and we’re willing to make big bets if we think it will help our community over the long term,” Zuckerberg said in a post reflecting on the 10th anniversary of News Feed.

The outrage died down, and News Feed became a major part of Facebook’s success.

2) Facebook settles FTC privacy charges

It settled with the Federal Trade Commission in 2011 over charges that it didn’t keep its privacy promise to users by allowing private information to be made public without warning. It agrees to undergo an independent privacy evaluation every other year for the next 20 years

Regulators said Facebook falsely claimed that third-party apps were able to access only the data they needed to operate. The apps could access nearly all of a user’s data. The users that never authenticated a third-party app could even have private posts collected if their friends used apps. It was also charged with sharing user information with advertisers, despite a promise they wouldn’t.

“Facebook is obligated to keep the promises about privacy that it makes to its hundreds of millions of users,” Jon Leibowitz, then chairman of the FTC, said at the time. “The innovation does not have to come at the expense of consumer privacy. The FTC action will ensure it will not.”

As part of the agreement in 2011, Facebook remains liable for a $16,000-per-day penalty for violating each count of the settlement.

3) Facebook cuts off apps from taking all the data they want.

Please keep building apps

If Person A downloads an app, that app shouldn’t be able to suck data from Person B just because they’re friends, right? In 2014, Facebook cited privacy concerns and promised it would limit access to developers. But by the time the policy took effect the next year, Facebook had one big issue: It still couldn’t keep track of how many developers were using previously downloaded data, according to current and former employees who spoke with The Wall Street Journal.


When Paul Grewal, Facebook vice president, and deputy general counsel announced Cambridge Analytica’s ban from Facebook last week, he said Facebook has a policy of doing ongoing manual and automated checks to ensure apps are complying with Facebook policies.

“These include steps such as random audits of existing apps along with the regular and proactive monitoring of the fastest-growing apps,” he said.

Business Aspects of Facebook

Facebook platforms include websites and mobile applications that allow users the ability to connect and communicate with family and friends. Fb primarily makes money by selling advertising space on its various social media platforms The company’s sites and apps include social networking site Facebook, photo- and video-sharing app Instagram, and messaging apps Messenger and WhatsApp. Facebook also provides an ecosystem that allows users to connect through its Oculus virtual reality products.


>Facebook sells ads on social media websites and mobile applications.

>Ad sales are the primary source of Facebook’s revenue.

>The site is investing heavily to develop new products, including the new Libra cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence (AI), and augmented reality.

>The site is being investigated by four separate groups of U.S. regulators for antitrust violations.

>Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency is facing stiff resistance from global central banks and other regulators.


Facebook Financials

facebook financials

1) Facebook business segments

Fb breaks down its revenue, but not income, into two main segments, as outlined here.

2) Advertising

Facebook generates substantially all of its revenue from selling advertising to marketers. They display ads main social-networking site, as well as Instagram, Messenger, and other third-party affiliated websites or mobile applications. Marketers pay for ads based on the number of impressions delivered or the number of actions, such as clicks, undertaken by users. 

Facebook posted $55 billion in advertising revenue in 2018, comprising 98.5% of the company’s total revenue. Ad revenue grew by 38% throughout 2018 compared to 49% throughout 2017. Through the first three quarters of 2019, ad revenue grew 27%   YOY(Year-Over-Year).

Payments and other fees

Revenue from payments is derived from the net fee Facebook receives from developers using its payment infrastructure. The other fees are comprised of revenue from the delivery of consumer hardware devices and various other sources.

These reasons are the key – features that emerged facebook for business success stories.


Facebook Financials

> Pandora

Pandora wanted to see if video ads could have the same success as their other Facebook ad formats. During the 2017 holiday season, the jewelry company Pandora wanted to boost brand awareness in the German market

They began this experiment by working with Facebook to adapt a successful TV commercial for the platform.


 According to the case study, the video campaign lifted brand sentiment during the holiday season, with a 10-point lift in favorability. While Pandora or the case study didn’t disclose how they measured their favorability score, they note that the lift means that more consumers favored Pandora over other jewelers because of the ad.

Financially, the campaign also provided ROI with a 61% lift in purchases and a 42% increase in new buyers.

> Rock & Roll Hall of fame

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame wanted to boost brand awareness and get more ticket purchases to their museum. Since they’d mainly used traditional customer outreach strategies in the past, they wanted to experiment with more ways of reaching audiences on social media.

They decided to implement a messaging strategy on the Hall of Fame’s official business page Because the museum’s social media team recognized how often they used Facebook Messenger.


Since the Messenger launch, they claim to have raised their audience size by 81% and sales from prospects by 12%. The company claims that this feature was so successful that they even received 54 messages on an Easter Sunday.

Want to read more case studies? Don’t worry, click on the link below:


The company plays many vital roles to connect people in the world without boundary because almost every people these days are familiar with Facebook. This allows us to know more about their culture, values, custom, and tradition. Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open.

  • People use Facebook-

  • To stay connected with friends and family

  • Discovering what’s going on in the world

  • To share and express what matters to them.

  • User can share their feelings and what’s happening around in our daily life through Facebook.

  • They also can get feedback from their friends about their reactions toward the user’s feelings.

  • It is the best medium to share feelings and thoughts with others.

  • User can share their achievements to get some appreciation or can share their sorrows to get support from the generous friends. 

Thank You

By:- Sneha Routh

2 thoughts on “Facebook: Behind the success”

  1. No doubt, I have found some important and unknown source of Facebook.
    Thanks for to bring such information in your page.

  2. Aakash Goswami

    The success story of “Facebook” inspires many of us.
    Thank you for for all the information about Facebook:)
    It contains enough information for everyone to get to know about the common habit(Facebook) we all have in common around the world:)

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