The changing faces of Facebook
Users of Facebook will recognise that the social media site changes frequently. But just how frequently does it change?
Facebook 1.0, brought to us in 2004, was a rather simple design. Blue, simple and exclusive to college students, the site was a long way from what it is today.
As the site became more popular, with college students pitching it to one another through email links, Facebook released version 2.0, and because they did not yet own the domain ‘Facebook’, it became known as ‘TheFacebook.com‘.
At this time, Facebook was centred on communicating with friends and leaving messages for one another, and lacked the applications it has today.
In 2006, the site underwent a change in layout, and developments were made in order to allow users to create events known as ‘parties’ to which they could invite their friends. 2006 was a year of growth and development for Facebook as it began to establish itself as one of the premier social media websites.
In 2007, Facebook 4.0 was released as Facebook began to transform itself into a platform for interaction, and was not simply just a place to communicate. Pictures became a huge focus of the site, applications were introduced and users were now able to virtually ‘poke’ friends.
2008 saw the introduction of the activity feed, as Facebook 5.0 was no longer just a profile page for communication, but a network. Users were now able to share status updates, comment on friends’ photos and communicate with one another in ways that other social media sites could not offer. Facebook began its domination as it started to overtake other social media sites such as Bebo.
Users were able to toggle between the old and new layout in order to allow them to get used to the new design.
Facebook 6.0 was released in 2009, and caused the biggest stir up yet. Games such as Farmville were developed and became an addiction for many users. A ‘Like’ button was introduced with which users could ‘like’ the status updates of their friends, and almost every detail of a person’s life could be shared with Facebook if they wished to do so. Fan pages were introduced alongside more interactive adverts and Facebook changed forever.
In 2010 Facebook released 7.0, its most professional and functional layout yet as it reached 500 million users. The site caused an uproar by making users’ personal information more transparent, though they offered users the ability to select or deselect which information they would like to share with others.
In 2011, Facebook became the second most visited site in the US (behind Google). Users were given the ability to make live voice calls via Facebook chat, and were able to ‘subscribe’ to users without having to add them as a friend.
Facebook reached 1 billion users in 2012, as 1 in every 7 people on the planet became connected via Facebook. More privacy changes were made as it became easier for users to quickly decide who can and cannot see their posts. Facebook also introduced its app center, allowing users to be able to search for games and other apps and link them with their account.
Last month, Mark Zuckerberg, C.E.O. of Facebook, introduced further changes for the site, as a graph search was announced in order to create ‘a completely new way for people to get information on Facebook.‘
At the time of its announcement, the graph contained a billion people and over a trillion connections. Graph search allows users to easily find information about other users without having to trawl through their News Feeds.
Users may search for something like ‘2005 photos of my university friends’ or ‘friends who like McDonald’s‘ or ‘friends of friends who have been to India’. Zuckerberg was keen to make clear that the new graph search does not make public information which has been made private by users, as existing privacy settings stay in place.
The change reflects that of the 2006 introduction of the News Feed, and is likely to come under fire from many users, as there is no way to opt out of being part of the graph search other than to make your profile completely private.
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