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Connecting, controversy and creativity: Facebook turns 10

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 5 2014 11:51 a.m. MST

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg poses at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., Feb. 5, 2007. In an about-face following a torrent of online protests, Facebook is backing off a change in its user policies while it figures how best to resolve questions like who controls the information shared on the social networking site. It was Feb. 4, 2004, when Mark Zuckerberg kicked off what would eventually become the social media giant Facebook.(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Paul Sakuma, Associated Press

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Happy birthday, Facebook.

It was Feb. 4, 2004, when Mark Zuckerberg kicked off what would eventually become the social media giant Facebook. Ten years later, the social network website has inspired an Academy Award-winning film, expanded its outreach with new phone applications and helped shift the Internet as we know it. The New York Times asked its readers to share some personal experiences they’ve had with Facebook.

“The responses were varied. Love was a common theme, though not always fidelity. Some readers saw it as a place to waste time and energy. Others were quick to describe the obvious impact on their lives,” according to the New York Times.

So where is Facebook going next?

The site has recently been promoting a new app, Paper, which offers a new way to look at news feeds and content. The app, though, has been swept up in a legal debate, as an app with the same name is asking Facebook to change its new application’s name, BBC reported.

But there are four things Facebook can do next, according to USA Today. It should focus on mobile, expand its market, please advertisers and fix the privacy concerns.

Facebook has been entangled in controversy over privacy in the last decade. Zuckerberg has his own perspective on privacy: “Information wants to be shared,” “privacy must be overcome” and “control is the new privacy,” according to the Washington Post. But this could be a problem for the website, the Post says.

“The problem with Zuckerberg’s philosophy of privacy, of course, is that over Facebook’s 10-year history, users’ ability to control their information has largely decreased,” the Post said. “Default settings lean toward making information public, and new advertising and third-party platforms are increasingly spreading users’ information beyond their direct control.”

And this might have had a big effect on the social media site. Facebook isn’t as common as it might have been in the past. The Wall Street Journal reported that only a small part — 10 percent — of the social media site’s 1.2 billion users share stories, images or videos every day, and just 4 percent post or update “more than once a day,” WSJ reported.

That's a shift from Facebook's popularity in the early days.

The Harvard Crimson, the newspaper of Harvard, where Zuckerberg was attending school when he created Facebook, looked back at Facebook and spoke to members of the 2006 class, who knew Zuckerberg well and were the first group of users to log in to Facebook.

“Everybody wanted access to a face book for upperclassmen,” Connie Zong told the Harvard Crimson.

Slate.com offered a retrospective view of Facebook’s early days, showing images of the first version of the social media page. It then offered a picture of Facebook’s 10-year timeline, which shows a massive shift in Facebook’s appearance.

“It's been an incredible journey so far, and I'm so grateful to be a part of it,” said Zuckerberg, according to Slate. “It's been amazing to see how people have used Facebook to build a real community and help each other in so many ways. In the next decade, we have the opportunity and responsibility to connect everyone and to keep serving the community as best we can.”

But is Facebook really the first of its kind? Rather humorously, BuzzFeed published a clip from a 1902 British newspaper that showed what might be the first real use of the term "facebook."

“The latest novelty for wiling the time in a country house is known as a ‘Face-book,’ ” read the clip. “Everyone who comes to stay has to draw a face in the album, however badly, and sign his name underneath. The result is very amusing, and the worst drawings frequently cause the greatest entertainment.”

Either way, Zuckerberg is proud of himself and his team for putting together the social media titan, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"It's rare to be able to touch so many people's lives,” he told the Los Angeles Times, “and I try to remind myself to make the most of every day and have the biggest impact I can.”

Email: hscribner@deseretnews.com

Twitter: @hscribner

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