Happy birthday, Facebook!

Facebook, I can’t believe you turn 10 today. It seems like just yesterday I received an email invitation to create a profile on “the facebook,” an elite social network for college kids that my small, liberal arts institution had finally been invited to join in 2005.

 

You’ve grown and changed so much in last decade. Someone who is just meeting you for the first time would probably never recognize the old you!

 

(I found this baby picture of you from 2004. I hope you don’t mind me sharing.)

Ah, good old days, when you were still called “thefacebook” and sported this awesome photo of Al Pacino.

Ah, the good old days, when you were still called “thefacebook” and sported this awesome photo of Al Pacino.

 

Like any young buck, you’ve had your growing pains.  First there was your open-door policy. No longer an exclusive club for college kids, soon you started letting high schoolers in. Then came (gasp!) our parents. And employers.

 Facebook mom

 

Once a place to post party pictures and campus gossip, your early adopters have grown up with you. Today, my friends’ newborns make their debuts on Facebook. A generation whose entire lives will be documented, timestamped and milestoned by you, Facebook.

 

With this influx of users came new opportunities to generate revenue and invest in a bigger, better, badder Facebook. The business pages, the advertising. The IPO.  Today you’re a nearly $30 billion enterprise.

 

The Facebook IPO was the biggest in Internet history.

The Facebook IPO was the biggest in Internet history.

 

You also collect an unprecedented amount of personal information, and there’s been talk of your plans to expand the scope of information collected. While your data privacy policies have grown up alongside you, the ethics of how you collect and use our data will continue to be a challenge for you as you enter your next decade of life.

 

Facebook data request

 

Ten years later, some things haven’t changed. You’re still a place where I can crowdsource answers to questions, share important news, keep up with the lives of friends near and far, and connect with new ones.

 

I can’t wait to see what you look like 10 years from now. Happy birthday, Facebook.

Photo credits [1] [2] [3] [4]