Nearly ten years ago now, a certain introverted college sophomore launched from his dorm room thefacebook.com—a campus-exclusive website that allowed people with a Harvard email address to upload onto it their photos and personal information. Four days after thefacebook.com went live, its creator Mark Zuckerberg proudly told his college newspaper that 650 students had signed up.
Today, ‘the Facebook’ has well over a billion active users spanning the globe. It generates an average of 4.5 billion likes and nearly 5 billion things shared on it, per day and is estimated to be worth over $100 billion. Meanwhile, other social network bigwigs like Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ all boast userbases in the hundreds of millions, and have pretty much become household names. Seventy-two percent of adult internet users in the U.S. are now active on at least one social network, up from just 8 percent in 2005.
It’s official. In under a decade, social media has gone from scoffed at to mainstream.