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This article was published on June 29, 2021


A brief history of Facebook’s journey to the $1T market cap club

Four comma club

A brief history of Facebook’s journey to the $1T market cap club
Ivan Mehta
Story by

Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

Last night, Facebook joined the exclusive club of US-based publicaly traded companies with a market cap of more than $1 trillion. Other notable names with this club’s membership are Apple, Microsoft, and Alphabet — making Facebook the youngest company to reach this mark.

Here’s a brief history of Facebook with significant milestones that helped it reach this mark:

  • Mark Zuckerberg & co. launch TheFacebook on Harvard campus on February 4, 2004.
  • Next year, it expands to more universities and changes its name to Facebook.
  • In September 2006, it opens up accepting users older than 13 from any country with a valid email ID.
  • In 2007, it first time starts making money by running ads. Today, it’s one of the largest players in the digital ad industry along with Google.
  • Until now, Facebook has had several talks for acquisition with Yahoo, Microsoft, and Viacom with the value of the social network measured up to $1 billion.

Microsoft has developed an AI system that corrects spelling in over 100 languages.

  • Later, Microsoft announces an ad partnership with Facebook, and also invests $240 million at an estimated valuation of $15 billion.
  • Facebook acquires FriendFeed in 2009, which “inspired” the invention of the Like button. This inspired feature shit goes way back.
  • Goldman invests $450 million in the company in 2011, making Zuckerberg & co. worth $50 billion.
  • In the same year, Facebook Messenger goes mobile with iOS and Android apps.
  • In 2012, Facebook goes public with a valuation of $104 billion. The same year it reaches the mark of 1 billion users across the globe.
  • Just before the IPO, the company acquires Instagram for $1 billion.
  • In 2014, the firm acquires Oculus, a maker of VR headsets, for $2 billion.
  • The same year, the social network completes its biggest acquisition for $19 billion: WhatsApp.
WhatsApp
Credit: Alexander Shantov
WhatsApp

Of course, this is only a brief history of Facebook’s money-making, product, and acquisition history. The company has been notorious for scandals threatening user data privacy such as Cambridge Analytica. And it also has a habit of sneakingly grabbing your data. All that has led to several anti-trust investigations against the company.

Sadly, as Facebook reached the $1 trillion market cap, a case looking into acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram was dismissed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Sigh, more money for Zukcerberg.

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