Sun. Mar 3rd, 2024

Facebook is 20 years old< /p>Open in full screen mode

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta.

Agence France-Presse

On February 4, 2004, Mark Zuckerberg, 19, a student at Harvard, launched TheFacebook with his roommates, a social network which quickly spread to other American universities. A look back at the genesis of this success, between scandals, records, key acquisitions and rants.

In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg left school to settle in Silicon Valley. The company received funding of US$500,000 (C$670,000 today) from investor Peter Thiel and, the following year, US$12.7 million (C$17 million). Canadian dollars) from the Accel Partner fund.

Simply renamed Facebook, the network aroused the desires of Viacom and Yahoo, who tried in 2006 to buy it for more than a billion US dollars (1.3 billion Canadian dollars) each.

It’s also the time for the first controversies. In December, Mark Zuckerberg apologized for privacy mistakes related to a new advertising system, Beacon.

In mid-2008, Facebook had 100 million members, dethroning MySpace as the most popular social network in the world. It was at this same time that the platform launched its Spanish, German and French versions and moved to smartphones with its first mobile application the following year.

Claiming some 300 million members in September 2009, the company says it generates enough cash to cover its operating costs.

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ELSEWHERE ON INFO: Ottawa postpones medical assistance in dying for mental disorders until 2027

Organizations defending the rights of Internet users filed a complaint at the end of 2009 against Facebook, concerning the lack of confidentiality. Faced with the revolt, Mark Zuckerberg admitted a bunch of errors in 2010 and the network signed an agreement at the end of 2011 with the American authorities.

< em>The Social Network, by David Fincher, was released in October 2010 in cinemas, providing the incriminating portrait of Mark Zuckerberg who betrays his comrades, notably the Winklevoss twins, with whom he created Facebook. Justice will validate the following year an agreement worth 65 million US dollars (90 million Canadian dollars) concluded with these people.

In December 2010, Mark Zuckerberg is named man of the year by Time magazine, because it transforms the way we live on a daily basis.

In 2011, the platform played a key role during the Arab Spring revolts. The social network has notably contributed, with Twitter (now 'expression.

The social network acquired the photo-sharing application Instagram in 2012 for 1 billion US dollars (1.3 billion Canadian dollars). In 2014, it will acquire the mobile messaging application WhatsApp for 19 billion US dollars (25.4 billion Canadian dollars).

On May 18, 2012, Facebook raised US$16 billion ($21.4 billion Canadian) in the largest IPO ever by a technology company, valuing it at $104 billion ($139.2 billion Canadians).

Facebook exceeds one billion members at the end of 2012.

Facebook announces the acquisition of the virtual reality headset company Oculus, leader in this industry, in a transaction estimated at 2 billion US dollars (2.7 billion Canadian dollars). This is a second major acquisition for Facebook, after that of the mobile messaging application WhatsApp in 2011.

In 2016, Facebook was accused of allowing Russia to influence elections. Hundreds of fake Russian profiles bought advertisements to increase tensions ahead of the American presidential election in which Donald Trump emerged victorious.

In 2018 the outbreak broke out scandal of Cambridge Analytica, a British company which unknowingly recovered the data of 50 million Facebook users to promote the victory of Donald Trump.

After these revelations, Mark Zuckerberg promised before the American Congress in April 2018 to better combat disinformation and hate speech.

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Mark Zuckerberg revealed the new name of his company in 2021.

At the end of 2021, Facebook's parent company was renamed Meta. Meta as metaverse, the future of the Internet according to Mark Zuckerberg, where physical and virtual realities will mix.

Abandoned by younger people in favor of Snapchat and TikTok, Facebook admitted in February 2022 to having lost a million active daily users. It still retains 1.96 billion, or nearly a quarter of the world's population.

After the announcement of falling profits and a slowdown in growth, Meta lost more than a quarter of its value on the stock market on Thursday February 3, 2022, wiping out more than 200 billion of US dollars (C$267.6 billion) in valuation, unheard of on Wall Street. The decline continues throughout the year before a spectacular rebound in 2023.

Facebook blocks news on its platform in Canada, in following the adoption of Bill C-18, which aims to force digital giants to agree with Canadian media on the payment of royalties for the use of their content.

To compete with summer 2023.

Since last November, Facebook and Instagram have offered a paid version in Europe without advertising for people who refuse to give access to their personal data.< /p>

At the beginning of 2024, the group regained a capitalization of more than 1,000 billion US dollars (1,338.2 billion Canadian dollars).

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