Facebook turns 10, is worth $160 billion

Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan in 2013. They met while she waited in line to use the bathroom at his Harvard fraternity house. (Getty Images)

Mark Zuckerberg and wife Patricia Chan in 2013. They met while she waited in line to use the bathroom at his Harvard fraternity house. (Getty Images)

Not many ideas become $160 billion empires. Facebook did it in just 10 years.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg issued a statement Tuesday marking the social media giant’s birthday.

Despite his massive fortune — the 29-year-old has made $3.4 billion (that’s with a “b”) in the first 5 weeks of 2014 — Zuckerberg said Facebook has been successful because it puts people before profits.

“We care most about building the best service we can. We’re going to focus on doing that first,” said Zuckerberg.

Facebook led the charge on making social media mainstream. With more than a billion registered users, it’s difficult to find someone that doesn’t use the online service to share comments, photos and links.

The first “social” website I recall was TheSpark.com, which began in 1999. It’s founders, all Harvard students, now run the dating site OKcupid.com.

MySpace, kicked off in early 2003, and catered to music lovers. It was the world’s biggest social media site from 2005-2008, when it was surpassed by Facebook.

Zuckerberg, while a sophomore at Harvard, began coding “Facemash” in late 2003. The program got 450 viewers and 22,000 page views in the first 4 hours.

On Feb. 4, 2004, Zuckerberg launched a new and improved TheFacebook.com, and began adding more Ivy League schools.

In 2005, Zuckerberg bought the facebook.com URL for $200,000.

Zuckerberg turned down multiple multi-million dollar offers to sell the young company.

Why didn’t he retire in his early 20s?

“The most important thing is that we create an open information flow for people. Having media corporations owned by conglomerates is just not an attractive idea to me,” he said at the time.

It was a smart move, Zuckerberg, worth an estimated $30 billion, is now the 22nd richest person on Earth. He gave $1 billion to charity in 2013 and, like fellow billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, has vowed to give away half of his fortune.

Zuckerberg said Tuesday that despite the success he tries to stay humble. He still wears his trademark “hoodie” to work every day and doesn’t live a lavish lifestyle. His most recent purchase? A new grill because he and wife Patricia Chan, a pediatrician, love to cook.

How long will Facebook remain top dog in an increasingly crowded social media landscape?

Zuckerberg shared his thoughts: “Today, social networks are mostly about sharing moments. In the next decade, they’ll also help you answer questions and solve complex problems.

“Today, we have only a few ways to share our experiences. In the next decade, technology will enable us to create many more ways to capture and communicate new kinds of experiences.”

He said all of that on his Facebook page, of course.

15 comments Add your comment

Cyrus

February 4th, 2014
11:54 am

And, according to this internal chart, Facebook is projecting to have more users than there are people on the planet by 2015:
http://mankabros.com/blogs/onmedea/2010/09/15/facebook-to-reach-7-3-billion-users-by-2015/

Andy

February 4th, 2014
12:05 pm

Facebook is for HS kids and nosy housewives.

Billy

February 4th, 2014
12:49 pm

FB is for people who want to stay in touch with each other, or want to be contacted by old friends. There’s other uses past that, of course, but those are the main two. Anyone who doesn’t want to be on FB 1), isn’t computer literate, (or english literate for that matter), 2) is in the witness protection program, or 3) is a loner with no friends to contact…

@ Cyrus

February 4th, 2014
1:14 pm

That is because MANY people fake FB accounts so they can troll the social media site without personal risk.

motocross survivor

February 4th, 2014
1:22 pm

You’ve gotta admit, FB is a pretty good product, no matter how rich he gets from it. But as far as him and Gates supposedly going to give away half their fortunes..I wouldn’t hold my breath. Gates doesn’t impress me at all. He still makes sure he tops the Forbes list every year, and how can a guy who made an addition 10 or so billion $ last year be very admirable as a philanthropist? Two or three hundred million a year to Gates is insignificant. If I were in his shoes, I’d give 99% of it away to good verifiable causes, and I’d still have a few million, which is more than enough for anybody.

@ Billy

February 4th, 2014
1:26 pm

“Anyone who doesn’t want to be on FB 1), isn’t computer literate, (or english literate for that matter), 2) is in the witness protection program, or 3) is a loner with no friends to contact…”
——————————-

LOL, Really? As opposed to the people that “collect friends” so that people will think they are more liked or popular than they really are? Most folks are waking up to the fact that social media is really anti-social and brings out the fake side of people.

I have always liked this quote in regards to Facebook:

“The number of ‘followers’ you have does not make you better than anyone else. Hitler had millions, Jesus had 12.”

Fed Up Taxpayer

February 4th, 2014
1:33 pm

Zuckerberg, worth an estimated $30 billion, is now the 22nd richest person on Earth. He gave $1 billion to charity in 2013 and, like fellow billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, has vowed to give away half of his fortune …………..

………… Give it directly to the government and entitlement junkies!

motocross survivor

February 4th, 2014
1:39 pm

FB does bring out flakiness in people. The phony intimacy, and “religion” get pretty thick. I see sooooo many people I knew years ago and still know who try to come across as prayerful saints who often go off on jags of prayer and scripture, and I find it hilarious. It’s a big put-on. Women are especially bad about this. Most are the same rats they always were in real life. That said, FB is good for making contact with past acquaintances.

xxx

February 4th, 2014
3:10 pm

Never had FB account and never will, and I am a programmer. FB is more for shallow, self absorbed shut ins that can’t/won’t culivate meaningful realtionships with actual live humans.

Bumper

February 4th, 2014
3:46 pm

I am “a loner with no friends to contact” (sniff). News to Me with George Mathis is my Facebook proxy. I hang out here hoping to reconnect with long lost acquaintences, and it was here that I found my separated-at-birth twin Bernie31.

Brace4impactz

February 4th, 2014
4:39 pm

I set up a FB account only to see pictures my friends posted of their vacations. Last year my sister used it to help me find old high school friends. Now I’ve reconnected with many of my friends and my coaches. Best of all, the high school cheerleader, who was one of the most popular people at my HS is now my girlfriend. She’s even hotter now. I have no idea how to use FB, but I’m glad I set it up.

DeezNutz

February 4th, 2014
5:14 pm

Facebook is possibly the greatest timesuck in the history of history. Well, maybe not as much of a timesuck as posting comments on UGA articles on ajc.com by GTBob or TheSuckeye, but close.

KJ

February 4th, 2014
7:04 pm

“Gates doesn’t impress me at all.”

oooooooo…. I’d hate to be Bill Gates right now!

knight calls

February 5th, 2014
12:54 am

Not bad for a greedy Jew whom stole from his partners-

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