Last night, Facebook joined the exclusive club of US-based publicaly traded companies with a market cap of more than $1 trillion. Other notable names with this club’s membership are Apple, Microsoft, and Alphabet — making Facebook the youngest company to reach this mark.
Here’s a brief history of Facebook with significant milestones that helped it reach this mark:
- Mark Zuckerberg & co. launch TheFacebook on Harvard campus on February 4, 2004.
- Next year, it expands to more universities and changes its name to Facebook.
- In September 2006, it opens up accepting users older than 13 from any country with a valid email ID.
- In 2007, it first time starts making money by running ads. Today, it’s one of the largest players in the digital ad industry along with Google.
- Until now, Facebook has had several talks for acquisition with Yahoo, Microsoft, and Viacom with the value of the social network measured up to $1 billion.
- Later, Microsoft announces an ad partnership with Facebook, and also invests $240 million at an estimated valuation of $15 billion.
- Facebook acquires FriendFeed in 2009, which “inspired” the invention of the Like button. This inspired feature shit goes way back.
- Goldman invests $450 million in the company in 2011, making Zuckerberg & co. worth $50 billion.
- In the same year, Facebook Messenger goes mobile with iOS and Android apps.
- In 2012, Facebook goes public with a valuation of $104 billion. The same year it reaches the mark of 1 billion users across the globe.
- Just before the IPO, the company acquires Instagram for $1 billion.
- In 2014, the firm acquires Oculus, a maker of VR headsets, for $2 billion.
- The same year, the social network completes its biggest acquisition for $19 billion: WhatsApp.
- In 2015, the company launches potentially money-making products such as Instant articles and livestreaming. The latter was made available to everyone in 2017.
- In 2016, Facebook and AdBlocker get into a tussle over displaying ads on the blue site.
- In 2017, the company reaches a market valuation of $500 billion. Launches Watch video streaming service to take on YouTube.
- While Facebook breaches the 2 billion active user mark in 2017, it loses users in the US and Canada the next year.
- In 2018, Facebook Dating is announced, and it’s formally launched in 2019.
- The same year, the company announces Portal — a hardware device for video chatting.
- In 2020, the social network taps the shopping market with a new product.
- The next year, Facebook says it wants to explore audio market, with products ranging from real-time conversation rooms, podcasts, and voice clips.
- In June 2021, Facebook turns WhatsApp into a shopping hub.
Of course, this is only a brief history of Facebook’s money-making, product, and acquisition history. The company has been notorious for scandals threatening user data privacy such as Cambridge Analytica. And it also has a habit of sneakingly grabbing your data. All that has led to several anti-trust investigations against the company.
Sadly, as Facebook reached the $1 trillion market cap, a case looking into acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram was dismissed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Sigh, more money for Zukcerberg.