Facebook is one of several social media websites that have changed the way that we use the Internet and how we interact with our friends, family members and peers. Those of us who have had a Facebook profile since the website first opened up over a decade no longer have to attend events such as class reunions. We have a reunion whenever we log onto the site and see that our former classmates now have children of their own and that they just acquired new jobs. Facebook does all of the work for us, and it allows us to check in with the world via any device that can access the Internet.
Facebook has done well to take every part of the online social experience and put it on one website. You can, as an example, upload photos via Twitter, but that site does not allow you share entire albums that can be viewed via a single click as is the case on Facebook. Instagram allows you to share photos in seconds, but that app does not offer a chat option as does Facebook. Videos, news links, and short personal posts that are typed via 140 characters or less: Facebook has it all, and those running the company are constantly working on improving the site.
Much of the history of Facebook was made public via The Social Network, a fantastic movie that exposed the background of the company and of those who founded the social media website. That movie highlighted just how important one specific person was in taking Facebook from something that college students would use when they were ignoring their homework to what that website has become today. You may not know, however, that multiple companies had opportunities to cash in on the Facebook phenomenon before it became a worldwide sensation used by millions of individuals, but those potential life-changing investments never occurred.
10 The Pirate Language option
It seems as if a day cannot go by without some sort of hoax regarding Facebook hits either that entity or some other website. Some of them involve links that supposedly lead to opportunities to win giveaways when in reality they are attempts to hack into personal accounts. One thing that is very real, however, is the ability to change the language for your personal Facebook page, and that includes utilizing the “English (Pirate)” option. With just a handful of clicks, you can turn your Facebook experience into one that reads like a Pirates of the Caribbean script, perfect for those “Talk Like a Pirate” days.
9 Facebook used to be college only
As long as you have a valid email address and you don't mind fibbing about your age if you are required to do so, you can set up a Facebook account in the time it will take you to read this sentence (if you have fast Internet, that is). That was not always the case. Those who are older and who may have learned about Facebook because of their kids and also younger users who are just now completing their high school educations may be surprised to know that Facebook was only available to users with confirmed college email addresses. It is almost impossible to reflect on those days considering what Facebook ultimately became.
8 Mark Zuckerberg's shortcut
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, had close to 32 million followers as of the posting of this piece. Those who do not have an account on the site can get a look at Zuckerberg's page via https://www.facebook.com/zuck, a link that makes sense since it contains a shortened version of his name. Another way to get to that same page is to type the following into your browser's address bar: www.facebook.com/4. What exactly the number four means to Zuckerberg and why he used it for his page's shortcut is unknown. Logic would suggest that the person who created the website would prefer to have “1” associated with his account.
7 Get paid to find bugs
Those in charge of Facebook take the stability of the website seriously, so much so that you can get paid if you find any vulnerabilities on the site. Really. While there is no maximum reward per the official Facebook terms, users are promised a minimum of $500 for locating any possible bugs. There are, of course, rules that must be followed in order to cash in and to avoid any complications to your daily lives. Actions that result in privacy violations or you publicly degrading Facebook could keep you from getting paid, and such decisions could even result in a lawsuit.
6 MySpace could have bought Facebook
MySpace was Facebook before Facebook was cool. The former king of social media websites allowed users to upload and share pictures with followers, and it was a way to interact with people that you had never before met in real life. The story is that Zuckerberg and his partners offered what was then known as “TheFacebook” to MySpace for the cool sum of $75 million. MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe turned the offer down, and MySpace has since become a largely forgotten website that is now more so used for music than it is a way to communicate with fellow users.
5 The “Awesome” button
Want to inform one of your Facebook friends that you have seen a post, but don't want to leave a comment for that person? There is a “Like” button for that. That was originally known as the “Awesome” button, an option that was eventually vetoed by Zuckerberg. It is probably for the best that Zuckerberg got his way, as “Awesome” could have been a controversial word to use on the website. Say, for example, that you were posting a memory about a deceased loved one. “Awesome” is probably not the word you want associated with that update regardless of the tale.
4 Remember the “Facebook guy?”
One of the early icons that was linked with Facebook included the face of a male that was slightly hidden behind numbers that made up binary code. The original opinion, one that many casual users of the website did not question, was that the face was a representation of Zuckerberg or of somebody close to the Facebook founder. That, however, was not the case. According to The Facebook Effect that was written by David Kirkpatrick, that image was actually an altered version of a photo of famous actor Al Pacino. One of Zuckerberg's friends reportedly created the picture that was used for the logo.
3 What happens to your Facebook when you die?
While it is probably something that you would rather not think about, the truth of the matter is that Facebook users pass away on a daily basis. It is just a fact of life. One of two things can happen to your account per your request or per the wishes of loved ones: It can either be “memorialized” and turned into somewhat of a makeshift social media gravestone where people can leave messages and post memories. The account can also be deleted. Facebook requires information, including proof that the person in question has passed away, before the company will make any significant changes to an account.
2 Teens no longer love Facebook...
The perception has been put out there for years. Teens are walking away from Facebook in massive numbers and moving on to other services such as Instagram, Snapchat, Vine and Tumblr. There are reasons to believe that the trend is something that should concern Facebook officials. The results of a survey conducted by Piper Jaffray that were released in April of 2015 stated that only 14 percent of teenagers polled claimed that Facebook was the “most important” social network. That number was 33 percent in 2013, and it dropped down to 23 percent for 2014. Instagram was the winner for 2015 at 32 percent.
1 ...but teens still love Facebook
The demise of Facebook among the teenage population has, to a point, been exaggerated by some in the tech world. A Pew survey that was released in April of 2015 calculated that approximately 71 percent of teenagers still use Facebook. Second on that list was Instagram, which checked in at 52 percent. Instagram happens to be owned by Facebook. While that survey does show that teenagers polled are using Facebook less than was the case back in 2012, those who are looking for Facebook to become the latest casualty in the social media wars would do well to put such eulogies away for the time being.