Like? Facebook turns 10-years-old

Last updated 05:00 31/01/2014
REMINDER: It's been ten years since Mark Zuckerberg changed the internet forever with Facebook.
REMINDER: It's been ten years since Mark Zuckerberg changed the internet forever with Facebook.

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Boy, doesn't 2004 seem like a long time ago?

Back in the sepia-tinged, free-lovin' hippie days of the early Noughties, if you wanted to poke a friend you had to book a restaurant, buy flowers and ask nicely.

Janet Jackson flashed her nipple at the Superbowl. Woo!

Tight-trousered, skinny-tied, floppy-haired Scots rockers Franz Ferdinand topped the music charts.

Friends ended on the telly (sad face).

And in February 2004, Facebook - the social network that brought all your daggy old schoolmates crawling out the woodwork - was launched.

Yes, it's been just about TEN years since Mark Zuckerberg, dressed in trademark tracky dacks and looking like an scruffy unemployed layabout, created his internet monster.

The Adam of his labours has since changed our lexicon (poke means something very different nowadays).

Facebook has disrupted media business models, transformed the way we interact with mates and generated enough cash to keep Shane Warne in teeth whitening and self-tan for a besquillion years.

Did you know that Zuckerberg, who turns just 30 in May, is now said to be worth US$19 billion (NZ$23 billion)?

That's US$4 billion more than the gross domestic product of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Facebook made US$1.5 billion profit on $US7.87 billion revenue in 2013.

And despite recent reports of Facebook's decline (mostly overstated), the Western world's largest social network is here to stay.

Yes, some younger teenagers have been lured away by instant-chat app Snapchat.

But there's no way Facebook will go the way of MySpace or Bebo, those flawed social networks that hung around like bad farts in the late 1990s/early Noughties.

You can talk about a few reasons for Facebook's success and no doubt there will be plenty of commentary in coming days about how the company has evolved, remained relevant blah blah blah.

But really there are just two reasons why Facebook is still loved: stalking and boasting.

Zuckerberg invented Facebook, so the story goes, so he and his college mates to spy on what each was up to.

That basic attraction remains as relevant today as it did back then - we love to know what other people are up to.

And who can resist a boast on Facebook? That's what the site's "checking-in" function was invented for.

"'Off to the Virgin Islands, see ya'll soon' - with Miles Godfrey and 2 others at Sydney Airport" - that sort of thing.

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Back in 2004 if you wanted to let your mates know you were off on holiday you had to pick up the landline and let them know.

Boy, it does seem a long time ago.



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