The Harbinger Online

Staffer Investigates Notable Changes to Facebook

2004
The birth of Facebook came about with the initial launch by Harvard sophomore Mark Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg created the social networking site as a way for college students to connect with other people on their campus. The Facebook was similar to a directory — filled with people on Harvard’s campus. The features of the Facebook were slim: they included searching for people at your school, finding out who is in your classes and looking up your friends’ friends. Over the years the Facebook has been modified numerous times; one of the first alterations was taking out the “the,” changing the name to Facebook.

2006
In order to make Facebook a more accessible social media site, they change up their past style and introduce the news feed. The news feed allows users to see all of their friends’ statuses in one place, instead of having to go to their profile page. Along with the news feed, the commenting feature was created which makes it possible for users to leave their own opinion in the comment box below their friends’ statuses and pictures. A Facebook application comes out for the iPhone giving users the ability to post statuses and photos from their cell phones, making it easier to use Facebook on the go. Consequently, mobile Facebook helps boost up the number of users.

2009
The “Like” button is born, giving users the chance to show their friends that they like something, which is the equivalent to giving their friend a thumbs-up. After the like feature was introduced, Facebook introduced the Friend Feed, which allows users to import things from YouTube and Flickr and upload them to their own wall and their friends’ walls. When users realize that they don’t have much privacy on their profile page, protesting arose – leading to Facebook changing their privacy policy. The new privacy policy let users choose who can see their profile, edit their profile information whenever they want to, and give users the chance to delete their account from the whole Facebook server.

2010
Facebook adds the “Places” feature, similar to the once-popular app FourSquare, which allows users to check in to the place they are currently located and share their location with their friends. After “Places” is added, users demand that privacy changes are made again, so that they will be able to select who sees their check-ins. With the like button being such a highly praised feature among users, Facebook adds the ability to “like” comments, as well as statuses and photos. Because of Facebook’s continuing success, CEO Mark Zuckerberg, was named Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year.”

2011
Now valued at a staggering 50 billion dollars, Facebook continues to grow and changes continue to be made. New features such as messaging combined with chat, subscribing and unsubscribing to your friends’ posts, and being able to “see friendships” enter the Facebook world. Seeing friendships lets users take a look at the things they have in common with their friends. The new style of Facebook chat gives users the ability to see a list of the people they most commonly talk to. The subscribe and unsubscribe feature is closely related to the following and unfollowing feature on Twitter, but is changed slightly to make it Facebook’s own.

***

A look back at the Facebook features we’d like to forget:

Bumper Stickers: from the car to the internet, these pictures were great for clogging up friends’ walls. While occasionally funny, the majority of bumper stickers were simply obnoxious.

Farmville: drop everything, the strawberries are about to rot! For several months, this addicting agcricultural application captivated the attention of the youth, converting us to a nation of farmers.

Graffiti: for users too meek to spraypaint a physical wall, this feature allowed even the most obedient to express their rebellious, artistic side. Generally, the finished product looked like something a four-year-old made.

Poke Wars: known as the most passive way to flirt with a girl, the poke evolved into an epic battle of juvenile wills. Facebook has hidden the poke button within a toolbar. Most wars ended in a peaceful manner.

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Morgan Twibell

Morgan Twibell is a junior. This is her second year on staff and she is the center spread editor and a copy editor. Morgan enjoys making jokes and pulling pranks on people. Read Full »

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