NEW YORK | A very good start-up ten years ago when it went public, Facebook is now a group with a tarnished image and declining popularity, but remains important and wants to stay that way in the metaverse.
The images, dated May 18, 2012, appear to have originated at a different time.
Mark Zuckerberg symbolically rang the NASDAQ electronic stock exchange bell, in the middle of the esplanade of Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park (California), in front of thousands of happy employees offering applause to their boss.
“At the time, Facebook was seen as young, trendy, a way to connect people with each other (and) Zuckerberg was still seen as a young leader,” recalls Carolina Milanesi of Creative Strategies.
“Today, it’s associated with political manipulation, advertising,” he said. “Facebook is considered a data -hungry company.”
But if the group’s growth has been disturbing and has caused Facebook action, which has become Meta, to lose nearly half of its value since the beginning of September, the social network nonetheless has 2.94 billion monthly active users, and continues to grow. .
“Facebook maintains a competitive advantage thanks to the number of users,” summarizes David Bchiri, independent expert. “They have long focused on the goal of connecting as many users as possible.”
“Small advertisers (…) may have this view that attendance has dropped, that no one is going to Facebook anymore, but that’s not true,” said Keith Kakadia, founder of marketing agency SociallyIN, which specializes in social network.
And the update, last year, of the iPhones ’iOS operating system, which makes it possible to avoid part of the user’s data collection, certainly punished Meta but didn’t make it illegitimate to advertisers.
“We always recommend Facebook with a brand strategy and most of them advertise on it,” the leader said.
“The truth is that 13-18 people start out without a Facebook page,” but they are nevertheless often on Instagram, a subsidiary of Meta, “and so they are part of Facebook’s strategy.»
The El Dorado of the Metaverse
Before Facebook, many had already tried the social network experience. From Friendster to MySpace, nothing possesses lasting success, overgrown too fast, dangerous diversity or inadequate content moderation.
Since then, many have started, but most are now targeting a niche.
“We don’t have the vocation or ambition to have the size of Facebook, of course,” explains Jérémie Mani, co-founder of Altruwe, a social network dedicated to altruism, which now has 10,000 users.
The goal, he says, is to “show up with an alternative” on Facebook or Twitter.
As for conservative networks, which have mushroomed since 2016, from Parler to Gettr through Donald Trump’s recent Truth Social, they also “haven’t reached the critical masses that value them”.
“I don’t think the competition went wrong,” Carolina Milanesi said, “Facebook just got the size and got there at the right time.”
Always on top, Facebook wants to stay in the metaverse, the virtual universes where you can lead a parallel existence and where Mark Zuckerberg bet, until his group’s name changes to Meta Platforms.
Meta will spend at least ten billion dollars a year creating and developing its version of the metaverse, to establish itself as the virtual universe by default.
Keith Kakadia believes in this, even though “we don’t see brands starting to think about how to integrate” this new space.
“In early 2014, Facebook positioned itself in the metaverse by buying Oculus (specialist in virtual reality headsets), but no one understood” at the time, he said. “Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg have always been ahead of the rest.”
“Their approach,” David Bchiri studies, “has become entry key for brands, just like on FB pages ten years ago.”
“You have to be the first,” according to Carolina Milanesi, “the one who sets the rules and can impose them.”
From the Harvard roommate to the global phenomenon
Thrombinoscope created by Harvard students has become a global phenomenon, but their leadership is now threatened by social networks targeting young people: here’s the story of Facebook, which is celebrating its 10th IPO anniversary its on Wednesday.
A simple thrombinoscope
On February 4, 2004, Mark Zuckerberg, 19, a student at Harvard University, near Boston, launched TheFacebook with three roommates, an online gallery that was quickly exported to other establishments.
In May, Mr. Zuckerberg at Harvard and moved to Silicon Valley.
Facebook has aroused envy
The social network, named Facebook, received $ 500,000 from investor Peter Thiel in July, then, the following year, $ 12.7 million from the Accel Partner fund.
Facebook’s success aroused the greed of Viacom and Yahoo, who in 2006 tried to buy it for 1.5 and 1 billion. Offers declined.
It was also the time of the first controversies. In December, Mark Zuckerberg apologized for privacy “mistakes” made using a new advertising system, Beacon.
Exponential increase in users
Facebook had 100 million members in mid -2008, which knocked MySpace off the social network charts.
Facebook launched its Spanish, German and French versions and, taking advantage of the rise of tactile smartphones, released its first mobile application next year.
Now, claimed to have 300 million members, the network says it generates enough money to cover its operating costs.
Organizations defending the rights of Internet users filed a complaint in late 2009 against Facebook’s lack of confidentiality.
Facing the sling, Mark Zuckerberg in 2010 admitted “a package of mistakes”. The social network will sign an agreement at the end of 2011 with American authorities, its privacy practices will be monitored for 20 years.
Facebook on the big screen
The Social Network by David Fincher was released in October 2010 in theaters, delivering a disastrous picture of a Mark Zuckerberg betraying his teammates, especially the Winklevoss twins, who were with him in creating Facebook. Justice will confirm next year a $ 65 million settlement that ended with his accusers.
In December 2010, Mark Zuckerberg was named the magazine’s man of the year Time.
The social network acquired photo-sharing site Instagram in 2012 for $ 715 million. It will offer in 2014 the mobile messaging application WhatsApp for 19 billion.
On May 18, 2012, Facebook raised $ 16 billion in the largest IPO ever of a technology company, costing it $ 104 billion. But the action failed and fell to its historic low in early September, at 17.73 dollars. It will quickly raise the level, which will reach nearly $ 380 by September 2021 and exceed 1,000 billion in capitalization.
Facebook surpassed one billion members by the end of 2012.
In 2016, Facebook was accused of allowing Russia to influence elections. The group revealed the following year that hundreds of fake profiles in Russia bought ads to heighten tensions ahead of the U.S. election in which Donald Trump won.
Facebook’s image was also tarnished in 2018 by the Cambridge Analytica scandal, a British data analysis company close to the American Republican Party, which was accused of inadvertently collecting data of 50 million Facebook users to advance Donald Trump’s victory.
After these revelations, Mark Zuckerberg went to the grill of the American Congress in April 2018.
Facebook becomes Meta
At the end of 2021, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Meta had replaced Facebook’s parent company. Meta as the Greek word for “beyond”, but also as metaverse, the virtual world he believes represents the future of the internet.
Black Thursday on the Stock Exchange
After announcing declining earnings, Meta lost on Thursday Feb. 3, 2022 more than a quarter of its value in the stock market, erasing more than 200 billion in valuation, which has never been heard of on Wall Street.
In the same month, Facebook, abandoned by the youngest in favor of other networks like Tiktok or Snapchat, admitted to losing, for the first time, a million active daily users. 1.96 billion, or about a quarter of the world’s population, still remain.