Unless the end of the world is nigh, Facebook will celebrate its 10th birthday this week.
Since graduating from Harvard University, the social network, originally launched by Mark Zuckerberg as “Thefacebook” on 4 February 2004, has gone on to conquer a significant portion of the world.
Facebook now boasts over a billion users per month, and – after a slow start – has successfully penetrated the mobile market, claiming that over half of its advertising revenue comes from this source.
But it hasn’t been an easy ride.
Throughout its life, Facebook and its founder have been plagued by accusations of foul play from Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, twin brothers who attended Harvard at the same time as Zuckerberg. The Winklevoss twins claim to have invented the original idea for the social network, and have filed multiple lawsuits against Zuckerberg.
In May 2012 came Facebook’s disastrous IPO, which was rocked by Nasdaq’s inability to deal with technical glitches.
Perhaps the biggest threat to Facebook, however, comes in the form of rival social network Twitter, which incidentally also went public recently, but as part of a much smoother process. The micro-blogging site, which is due to report its latest quarterly results this week, has long been hailed a “Facebook-killer”, and has proved itself a powerful adversary.
Back in late December, a multi-country, European Union-backed report revealed that Facebook’s core user base appears to be getting older, and that younger generations are not particularly interested in joining the site. True, Facebook has faced many a similar suggestion before, but there are no doubt fears that this particular study might carry some real weight.
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