Timeline of Facebook
See also: Wikipedia:History of Facebook
This is a timeline of Facebook.
|Time period||Key developments at Facebook|
|February 2004 – September 2006||Facebook gradually enlarges the set of people who are allowed to register, starting from Harvard University only in February 2004, then gradually expanding to more US universities, then moving to international student networks, and finally switching to open registration in September 2006: anybody who is at least 13 and has a valid email address can sign up.|
|September 2006 onward||Even as Facebook's userbase keeps increasing, the eligibility requirements for Facebook remain largely the same. At some point, Facebook starts allowing people to register with either an email address or a mobile phone, thereby making it possible for people who do not have email addresses to register.|
Product and accessibility
|Time period||Key developments at Facebook|
|2005 onward, but largely concentrated September 2006–September 2009||Facebook develops some of the core social infrastructure that would come to define the user experience for many years to come, starting with photos and the ability to tag friends in them (October and December 2005), Facebook's News Feed (September 2006), and then proceeding to Facebook Platform in May 2007, an attempt to get developers to create applications for use within Facebook. The ability to @-tag friends in posts and comments is introduced in September 2009.|
|Concentrated 2009–2011||Facebook works on becoming the "social layer" of the web, with the (now deprecated) name Facebook Connect, that allows Facebook's like buttons to be displayed on external websites, and also allows them to use Facebook for logins.|
|Concentrated 2012 onward, with some early moves in 2010 and 2011||Facebook shifts attention to mobile phones. At the low end of the market, this includes initiatives such as Facebook Zero and Facebook for SIM. At the high end, this includes development and improvement of iOS and Android apps, as well as initiatives such as Facebook Home and Facebook Paper (the latter, in January 2014, is the first product of Facebook Creative Labs, Facebook's in-house initiative for small teams to work on standalone mobile apps). Facebook also acquires a number of mobile-focused companies, such as Instagram and WhatsApp, and fails to acquire Snapchat. The company's vision evolves to being a family of interconnected apps rather than a single standalone product, and this vision is explicitly articulated at the 2015 F8 conference.|
|Late 2011 onward||Facebook reimagines some of its core infrastructure, replacing the profile and wall with the new Timeline, and replacing search with Facebook Graph Search. A plan to significantly redesign the News Feed, announced March 2013, is abandoned a few months later.|
|2013 onward||Facebook moves more aggressively into Twitter territory: it launches support for hashtags and hashtag-based search, and also introduces trending topics.|
|2014 onward, picking up steam in 2015 and 2016||Facebook starts making a new set of changes to its news feed, driven by the Feed Quality Program. More so than previous sets of changes, new changes are based on extensive efforts to gather feedback, including in-person feedback from focus groups and more large-scale surveys. The changes include more explicit identification of hoaxes and the greater use of signals such as time spent viewing a piece of content in the feed and time spent reading the article off Facebook. Machine learning and AI techniques are also used increasingly in the service of improving feed quality.|
|2015 onward, with major rollout in early 2016||Facebook expands aggressively into live-streaming with the launch of Facebook Live.|
|2016 onward, picking up steam in 2017||Facebook doubles down on its efforts to build a better global community, crack down on fake news, misleading ads, and bad actors, while helping people conect with broad and meaningful communities. It would also face a lot of criticism for not doing more to curb bad actors.|
|Year||Month and date (if available)||Event type||Event|
|2003||October 28||Prelude||Mark Zuckerberg releases Facemash, the predecessor to Facebook. It is described as a Harvard University version of Hot or Not.|
|2004||January||Creation||Mark Zuckerberg begins with his fellow co-founders writing Facebook.|
|2004||January 11||Creation||Zuckerberg registers thefacebook.com domain.|
|2004||February 4||Creation||Zuckerberg launches Facebook as a Harvard-only social network.|
|2004||March||Userbase||Facebook expands to MIT, Boston University, Boston College, Northeastern University, Stanford University, Dartmouth College, Columbia University, and Yale University.|
|2004||April 13||Financial/legal||Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, and Eduardo Saverin form Thefacebook.com LLC, a partnership|
|2004||June||Funding||Facebook receives its first investment from Peter Thiel for US$500,000.|
|2004||June||Financial/legal||Facebook incorporates into a new company, and Sean Parker (early employee of Napster) becomes its president.|
|2004||June||Physical location||Facebook moves its base of operations to Palo Alto, California.|
|2004||August||Product||To compete with growing campus-only service i2hub, Zuckerberg launches Wirehog. It is a precursor to Facebook Platform applications.|
|2004||September||Financial/legal||ConnectU files a lawsuit against Zuckerberg and other Facebook founders.|
|2004||December 30||Userbase||Facebook achieves its one millionth registered user.|
|2005||Early year||Userbase||Facebook adds international university networks|
|2005||May 26||Funding||Accel Partners invests $13 million into Facebook.|
|2005||July 19||Acquisition talks||News Corp acquires MySpace, spurring rumors about the possible sale of Facebook to a larger media company.|
|2005||August 23||Product||Facebook acquires Facebook.com domain for $200,000.|
|2005||September||Product||Facebook launches a high school version of the website.|
|2005||October||Product||Facebook launches its photos feature with no restrictions on storage (but without the ability to tag friends).|
|2005||December||Product||Facebook introduces the ability to tag friends in photos.|
|2006||unknown||Financial/legal||A leaked cash flow statement shows that Facebook had a net gain of $5.66 million for the 2005 fiscal year.|
|2006||March 28||Acquisition talks||A potential acquisition of Facebook is reportedly under negotiations, for $750 million first, then later $2 billion.|
|2006||August 22||Product||Facebook launches a blogging feature known as "Facebook Notes".|
|2006||October||Userbase||Facebook expands to UK Universities|
|2006||September 6||Product (news feed)||Facebook launches News Feed. The original news feed is an algorithmically generated and constantly refreshing summary of updates about the activities of one's friends. The concept is relatively new at the time, with Twitter having launched only a few months in advance.|
|2006||September||Acquisition talks||Facebook discusses with Yahoo! about the latter possibly acquiring the former, for $1 billion.|
|2006||September 26||Userbase||Facebook is open to everyone aged 13 and over, and with a valid email address.|
|2007||January 10||Product||Facebook launches m.facebook.com and officially announces mobile support.|
|2007||May 24||Product||Facebook announces Facebook Platform for developers to build applications on top of Facebook's social graph.|
|2007||October 24||Funding||Microsoft announces that it will purchase a 1.6% share of Facebook for $240 million, giving Facebook a total implied value of around $15 billion.|
|2007||November 6||Product (news feed)||Facebook launches Facebook Beacon with 44 partner sites at the time of launch. Beacon is part of Facebook's advertisement system that sends data from external websites to Facebook, for the purpose of allowing targeted advertisements and allowing users to share their activities with their friends. Certain activities on partner sites are published to a user's News Feed. On the same day, Facebook launched Facebook Pages.|
|2007||November 19||Product||Facebook removes "is" from status updates, allowing users to adopt a more free-form version of status updates.|
|2008||May||Team||Adam D'Angelo, an early employee and chief technology officer, leaves Facebook.|
|2008||June||Financial/legal||Facebook settles both lawsuits, ConnectU vs Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg et al. and intellectual property theft, Wayne Chang et al. over The Winklevoss Chang Group's Social Butterfly project. The settlement effectively had Facebook acquiring ConnectU for $20 million in cash and over $1.2 million in shares, valued at $45 million based on $15 billion company valuation.|
|2008||June 25||Product||Facebook allows users to comment on items in their friends' mini-feeds.|
|2008||July 21||Product||Facebook launches a complete site redesign with options for tabbed redesign, and allows users to opt into it. By September 2008, it forces all users to opt-in.|
|2008||August||Financial/legal||Employees reportedly privately sell their shares to venture capital firms, at a company valuation of between $3.75 billion to $5 billion.|
|2008||October||Physical location||Facebook sets up its international headquarters in Dublin, Ireland.|
|2008||November||Product||Facebook launches Facebook Credits in order to help users purchase Facebook gifts.|
|2009||February 9||Product||Facebook activates the Facebook like button.|
|2009||August||Acquisitions||Facebook acquires FriendFeed.|
|2009||September||Financial/legal||Facebook claims that it has turned cash flow positive for the first time.|
|2009||September 10||Product||Facebook announces a feature whereby people can @-tag friends in their status updates and comments.|
|2009||September||Product||Facebook shuts down Beacon.|
|2010||February||Acquisitions||Facebook acquires Malaysian contact-importing startup Octazen Solutions.|
|2010||April 2||Acquisitions||Facebook announces the acquisition of photo-sharing service called Divvy-shot for an undisclosed amount.|
|2010||April 19||Product||Facebook introduces Community Pages, which are Pages that are populated with articles from Wikipedia.|
|2010||April 21||Product||Facebook introduces Instant Personalization, starting with Microsoft Docs, Yelp, and Pandora. It also starts allowing external websites to embed the like button.|
|2010||May 18||Accessibility||Facebook launches Facebook Zero, allowing for free access to a text-only version of Facebook's mobile website with some carriers.|
|2010||June||Financial/legal||Facebook employees sell shares of the company on SecondMarket at a company valuation of $11.5 billion. Facebook also announces the start of the Like button being available for comments.|
|2010||October 1||Popular culture||The Social Network, a film about the beginnings of Facebook directed by David Fincher is released. The film is met with widespread critical acclaim as well as commercial success; however, Mark Zuckerberg says that the film is a largely inaccurate account of what happened.|
|2010||December||Product||Facebook launches a redesign that emphasizes the most important parts of someone's life, including one's biographic information, photos, education, work experience, and important relationships. It replaces the tabs at the top of each profile page with links on the left side of the page.|
|2011||January||Funding||$500 million is invested into Facebook for 1% of the company, placing its worth at $50 billion.|
|2011||February||Political activism||Facebook adds new "civil union" option for gay partnerships.|
|2011||February||Product||Facebook application and content aggregator Pixable estimates that Facebook will host 100 billion photos by summer 2011.|
|2011||March 20||Acquisitions||Facebook acquires Israeli mobile startup Snaptu, that had built its own stripped-down Facebook mobile application, for an estimated $60 – $70 Million. The acquisition would lead to the launch of "Facebook for Every Phone" in July, and the launch of Facebook Lite in 2014.|
|2011||June 28||Competition||Google launches Google+, widely perceived as a competitor to Facebook. Commentators believe that Facebook's subsequent rapid release of new features and improvements may have in part been hastened due to competition from Google+.|
|2011||July 6||Product||Facebook partners with Skype to add video chat and updates its website interface to make messaging more seamless.|
|2011||July 12||Accessibility||Facebook launches "Facebook for Every Phone", a stripped-down version of the Facebook experience accessible on over 2,500 mobile phones across the globe. The product is a successor to the mobile application developed by Snaptu, an Israeli startup that Facebook acquired in March.|
|2011||August 9, then October 19||Product||Facebook Messenger is launched for Android and IOS. October 19, 2011 update makes the app available to Blackberry os.|
|2011||September, then November 30||Product||Facebook increases the character limit for status update posts from 500 to 5,000 in September and to 63,206 on November 30.|
|2011||September 14||Product||Facebook allows people to subscribe to non-friends and to set the extent to which they receive updates from their existing friends and people they are subscribing to.|
|2011||September 15||Product||Facebook partners with Heroku for Facebook application development using the Facebook Platform.|
|2011||September 22||Product||Facebook launches new UI Timeline in F8 Convention.|
|2011||October 6||Accessibility||Facebook for SIM, a client/server SIM application developed by international digital security company Gemalto that enables people to access Facebook using the SMS protocol on their mobile phones, without needing a data plan, is released in partnership with select carriers.|
|2011||October 10||Accessibility||Facebook launches iPad app.|
|2011||December 21||Product||Facebook login page changes due to Facebook Timeline addition.|
|2012||January 10||Product (news feed)||Facebook starts showing advertisements (called Featured Posts) in the news feed. The advertisements are generally for pages that one's Facebook friends have engaged with.|
|2012||April||Acquisitions||Facebook acquires Instagram for $1 billion.|
|2012||May||Financial/legal||Facebook IPO: Facebook goes public, negotiating a share price of $38 apiece, valuing the company at $104 billion, the largest valuation to date for a newly listed public company.|
|2012||June 13||Product||Facebook launches Facebook Exchange (FBX), a real-time bidding ad system where advertisers can bid on users based on third-party websites visited by the users (as tracked by a cookie on the third-party website).|
|2012||October||Userbase||Facebook reaches 1 billion active users.|
|2013||January 15||Product||Facebook announces and begins rolling out Facebook Graph Search.|
|2013||January 30, then April 9||Product||Facebook rolls out detailed and fine-grained emoticons to express different actions and emotional states in one's status updates (experimental launch January 30, official launch with universal availability April 9).|
|2013||March 7||Product (news feed)||Facebook announces major planned changes to the News Feed. However, it is later revealed that Facebook abandoned these changes after getting negative feedback from users.|
|2013||March 8||Acquisitions||Facebook announces that they acquired the team from Storylane, but not the product itself.|
|2013||April 4, then April 12||Product (mobile-only)||Facebook launches Facebook Home, a user interface layer for Android-compatible phones that provides a replacement home screen that makes it easier for users to browse and post.|
|2013||April 15||Product||Facebook launches a new timeline.|
|2013||April–July||Product||Facebook launches Stickers, initially only for its iOS apps in April, but later expanding to its web version in July.|
|2013||June 12, then June 27||Product||Facebook announces support for hashtags, initially only for the web (June 12). Later (June 27), more functionality is added and hashtags are extended to the mobile site and apps.|
|2013||June 30||Political activism||Zuckerberg joins 700 Facebook employees for the June 2013 Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Celebration march in San Francisco, U.S. The 2013 Pride celebration was especially significant, as it followed a Supreme Court of the United States ruling that deemed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional.|
|2013||August 20||Userbase/accessibility||Facebook launches Internet.org in collaboration with six cellphone companies (Samsung, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, and Qualcomm). Internet.org aims to bring affordable Internet access to everybody by increasing affordability, increasing efficiency, and facilitating the development of new business models around the provision of Internet access.|
|2013||September 26||Product||Facebook begins letting people edit their posts and comments after publishing.|
|2013||September 29||Product||Facebook announces that it will begin rolling out Graph Search for posts and comments.|
|2013||November 13||Acquisition talks||A number of news outlets reports that Facebook offered to buy Snapchat for $3 billion USD but was spurned.|
|2013||December 18||Financial/legal||Facebook, Zuckerberg, & banks face IPO lawsuit.|
|2014||January 13||Acquisitions||Facebook acquires Branch Media, and it is announced that the team working on the startup will join Facebook to work on conversations products for Facebook that builds on similar ideas as Branch Media's products, while Branch Media's existing products will continue to operate separately. Facebook confirms that the acquisition is a talent acquisition.|
|2014||January 16||Product||Facebook launches Trending Topics for its web version in the US, UK, Canada, India, and Australia. This is based on feedback to a pilot version tested both on the web and mobile starting August 2013.|
|2014||January 30, then February 3||Product (mobile-only)||On January 30, Facebook announces Facebook Paper, a separate iOS app that provides a newspaper-like or magazine-like experience for reading on the phone, scheduled for launch on February 3. Facebook also announces Facebook Creative Labs, an intra-company effort to have separate teams working on separate mobile apps that specialize in different facets related to the Facebook experience, rather than trying to make changes to Facebook's main web version, mobile version, or its iOS and Android apps, and says that Facebook Paper is the first product of Facebook Creative Labs. Facebook Paper receives mixed reviews, and some commentators note its similarity with Flipboard.|
|2014||February 4||Milestone||Facebook marks the ten-year anniversary of its launch (February 4, 2004), and Mark Zuckerberg writes a public post about why he is proud of Facebook so far. The Pew Research Center releases a report about increasing Facebook usage by adults to mark the occasion. Many other commentators write articles about Facebook to honor the occasion.|
|2014||February 4–7||Product||On February 4, on the occasion of its tenth anniversary, Facebook introduces its Look Back feature that creates an automated video for each person looking back on the person's life as recorded on Facebook. On February 7, Facebook adds the ability to edit the Look Back videos.|
|2014||February 13||Political activism||Facebook opens up many new LGBTQ-friendly gender identity and pronoun options.|
|2014||February 19||Acquisitions||Facebook announces that it is acquiring the Sequoia Capital-backed multi-platform mobile messaging app WhatsApp for $16 billion USD ($4 billion in cash, $12 billion in Facebook shares) plus an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units to be granted to WhatsApp’s founders and employees that will vest over four years subsequent to closing. . According to the announcement, WhatsApp will continue to operate independently, Facebook will continue developing Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum will join the Facebook Board of Directors. On February 24, in a keynote address to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Zuckerberg says that the WhatsApp acquisition is part of the Internet.org vision.|
|2014||March 3||Acquisitions||Rumors are circulated that Facebook is buying drone maker Titan Aerospace for $60 million. It is believed that the acquisition will help bolster Facebook's vision with Internet.org. Later, on April 14, 2014, the Wall Street Journal reports that Google is acquiring Titan Aerospace.|
|2014||March 6||Product (news feed)||Facebook announces that it will begin rollout of a somewhat modified news feed. The changes are along the same lines as those announced in the planned revamp announced March 7, 2013 (that was halted), but are more minor and focused.|
|2014||March 17||Product||Facebook's face recognition algorithm (DeepFace) reaches near-human accuracy in identifying faces.|
|2014||March 25||Acquisitions||Facebook announces that it is acquiring Oculus VR, Inc., a leading virtual reality company. The amount is reported to be $2 billion in cash and stock.|
|2014||March 27||Accessibility||Facebook announces a Connectivity Lab as part of the Internet.org initiative, with the goal of bringing the Internet to everybody via drones, using acqhires from Ascenta.|
|2014||April 9||Accessibility||Facebook announces that it will be removing the messaging functionality from the main Facebook mobile app, and moving people over to using a dedicated Facebook Messenger app for messaging. After two years of growth and adoption of the Messenger app, Facebook disables messaging from its main web app in June 2016.|
|2014||April 24||Product||Facebook announces FB Newswire to help journalists find news on its website.|
|2014||April 30||Product, accessibility||Facebook launches anonymous login so that people can use apps without giving them their data.|
|2014||June 18||Product (mobile-only)||Facebook releases Facebook Slingshot, an instant messaging software application for sharing photos and videos with friends, for Android and iOS devices.|
|2014||July 21||Product||Facebook launches Save, a read-it-later feature that allows users to save links, places, and media pages for later perusal.|
|2014||September 15 onward||Userbase/controversy||Facebook cracks down on the Facebook profiles of drag queens in San Francisco, asking them to switch to using their real names, and shutting down the accounts of those who refuse to comply. There is considerable pushback, including a planned protest at Facebook headquarters, that is delayed for a meeting with Facebook, but Facebook refuses to budge on its policy. Many people, particularly those in or sympathetic to the LGBTQ community, sign up for competing social network Ello, that does not enforce a real names policy, promises to remain "ad-free and porn-friendly", and aims to have a zero-tolerance policy for hate speech. On October 1, Facebook announced a clarification to its real name policy and said that drag queens could continue operating their accounts. The company clarified that people should use their authentic real-world names but need not use their legal names.|
|2014||October 6||Acquisitions||Facebook officially completes the acquisition of WhatsApp, and WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum agrees to match Mark Zuckerberg's $1 salary.|
|2014||October 23||Product||Facebook launches pseudonymous app Rooms, where Facebook users can create and participate in forums on any topic and do not need to use their real names. The forthcoming launch of the pap had been reported on October 7.|
|2014||October 28||Vision||In an earnings call for Q3 2014, Mark Zuckerberg outlines the 3-year, 5-year, and 10-year vision for Facebook. The 3-year focus is to grow usage of Facebook's products (the main Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp). The 5-year focus is on taking these services to billions of users each. The 10-year focus is to spread Internet access using Internet.org and to launch virtual reality in a bigger way.|
|2014||October 31||Accessibility||Facebook creates a custom Tor link, making it easier for people to access Facebook anonymously in locations where it is censored.|
|2014||November 7||Product (news feed)||Facebook makes it easy for people to unfollow friends and pages they've liked, both while viewing pages in the feed and while reviewing summaries of the most prolific contributors to their feed.|
|2014||December 8||Product||Facebook rolls out keyword search for all posts, part of Facebook Graph Search, to all US English users on desktop and using iPhones. It is cited as a potential competitor to Yelp and other product recommendation engines and also as a potential way to surface old, embarrassing posts by people.|
|2014||December 11||Outreach||Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg holds his second Q&A, open to the public, about Facebook, where he discusses the dislike button and Facebook's role in promoting viewpoint diversity, helping people share more, and facilitating social and political transparency.|
|2015||January 5||Acquisitions||Facebook acquires Wit.ai, a Y Combinator startup founded 18 months ago to create an API for building voice-activated interfaces.|
|2015||January 8||Acquisitions||Facebook acquires QuickFire Networks, a company that built a custom hardware and software platform for reducing video file sizes and upload times. The Wall Street Journal got the news on January 8, with confirmation later arriving on QuickFire’s site.|
|2015||January 16||Open sourcing||Facebook open sources the Torch library, containing some of its deep learning tools in machine learning, including new code that runs 23 times as fast for training convolutional neural networks as the fastest publicly available code until that time.|
|2015||January 20||Product (news feed)||Facebook announces that it will show fewer hoaxes in the news feed, and mark items it identifies as potential hoaxes so that readers can view them more critically.|
|2015||March 17||Product||Facebook introduces a free friend-to-friend payment service within its Messenger app. This is touted by some tech journalists as potential competition for PayPal's Venmo service.|
|2015||March 25||Product||At the first day of the 2015 F8 conference (a conference for Facebook to make announcements about major product and service changes), the company makes a bunch of announcements, with the unifying theme being that the company wants to be an integrated bunch of apps, each fulfilling a somewhat different role. Currently, the company's leading apps include its main app, Messenger, and externally built and acquired apps such as Instagram and WhatsApp. Specific announcements include making Facebook Messenger more of a platform, a new real-time comments system, embeddable videos, spherical video, Parse for the Internet of Things, updates to ad exchange LiveRail, and analytics for apps.|
|2015||March 26||Open sourcing||Facebook releases its React native framework for building native apps as open source. This is announced on the second day of the F8 conference.|
|2015||March 31||Userbase, product||Facebook launches a feature called Scrapbook that allows parents to give their kids an official presence on Facebook even when they are too young to have their own accounts on the network by tagging them in photos. A Scrapbook can be owned by two people who have indicated to Facebook that they are in a relationship. When the kids grow old enough and get their own accounts, they can take over ownership of the Scrapbook and change the privacy settings thereof.|
|2015||April 22||Product||Facebook launches an Android app called Hello to instantly matches phone numbers of incoming and outgoing calls to Facebook profiles to show information about the caller/callee, block calls from commonly blocked numbers, and search for businesses to call, with initial rollout in the United States, Brazil, and Nigeria. There is no corresponding iOS app, because iOS does not allow apps to interact with phone calls. Commentators compare Facebook Hello to the native Android dialer app and to TrueCaller, an app with crowdsourced data.|
|2015||April 28 (announcement), April 30 (closure)||Product, platform||Facebook announces that it is shutting down its friends data API, forcing developers to migrate to the Graph API. The company is also allowing for more granular control of data that users may share with apps.|
|2015||May 12||Product||Facebook launches "Instant Articles" for Publishers. Publishers who use Instant Articles can opt in to have some of their articles shown to mobile users inside Facebook's app itself, without users having to leave the app and visit the customer's website. Initial launch partners include BuzzFeed, the New York Times, National Geographic and six others. The article as displayed on Facebook mimics the article on the website in terms of layout, and Instant Articles allows for correct attribution and analytics with tools such as Google Analytics, Omniture, and Comscore, in addition to publishers benefiting from Facebook's own analytics. Publishers can choose to have only a subset of their content available as Instant Articles, and Facebook handles the porting of the article to the Instant Article format itself. BuzzFeed praised Facebook for complying with its requests for compatibility with analytics tracking, and said the process was very collaborative throughout. Load times are claimed to be ten times faster than the mobile web. Publishers can keep all the ad revenue if using their own ads, but Facebook gets a 30% cut if the ads are shown by Facebook.|
|2015||May 29||Product (news feed)||Facebook confirms official support for GIFs. Autoplay settings for GIFs would be the same as those for videos: users who have video autoplay set to on (the default setting) will have GIFs autoplay when they scroll to the GIF in their news feed. Others can play the GIF manually by clicking the GIF button on the feed item with the GIF.|
|2015||June 4||Accessibility||Facebook launches Facebook Lite, a stripped-down Facebook Android app optimized for low-end phones and poor connections.|
|2015||June–August||Product||Facebook adds more features for pages to make it easier for businesses to use them. These include: allowing pages to display how quickly they respond to messages, allowing pages to send saved replies to messages, allowing pages to use private messages for customer support, and adding buy button integration to pages.|
|2015||June–July||Product (news feed)||Facebook makes changes to its news feed algorithm in a few different directions. It relinquishes some control to users allowing them to dictate what they see first in the news feed. Also, it announces that it will start using information on how long people hover on a particular item in their news feed to gauge their level of interest in the item, in addition to the more explicit signals it currently uses (likes, comments, shares).|
|2015||August||Product||On August 5, Facebook launches live-streaming, initially restricted only to celebrities. Subsequently, on August 12, it announces that the feature will be made available to journalists and those with verified profiles.|
|2015||August 26||Product||Facebook begins rolling out a human- and AI-powered virtual assistant called "M". M is available through Facebook's Messenger app, and is capable of performing tasks on behalf of users, including placing restaurant reservations and booking travel. At launch, M is only available to a small group of testers, and in April 2016 Facebook would confirm that it could be years before M is broadly available.|
|2015||August 27||Userbase||Facebook announces that it has hit the milestone of 1 billion users accessing it on a single day.|
|2015||October 27||Accessibility||Facebook announces an initiative called 2G Tuesdays. With this initiative, Facebook engineers can opt in to access Facebook at 2G speeds for an hour every Tuesday (thus partly mimicking the experience of a nonnegligible fraction of Internet users in developing countries). The goal is to make Facebook engineers better understand the challenges of using Facebook with poor Internet speeds, and in turn help improve the Facebook experience for these users.|
|2015||November 18||Product (fundraising)||Facebook launches a new fundraising tool to help nonprofits raise money. The tool is initially in beta. Partners include Mercy Corps, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and World Wildlife Fund.|
|2015||December||Product||Facebook announces that it will add a feature for booking a ride through its messaging application. Users of Facebook Messenger in the U.S. will be able to summon an Uber car with a few taps.|
|2016||January – March||Product||Facebook Live that was originally launched in August 2015 and limited to celebrities, becomes available to all U.S. iPhone users on January 28. On February 18, the global rollout begins. It becomes available to U.S. Android users in the week following February 26. Starting March 1, Facebook starts pushing live content more compared to older content. Commentators describe Facebook Live as marking Facebook's entry into the live-streaming space, competing with Twitter-owned Periscope.|
|2016||February 24||Product||Facebook releases Facebook Reactions to the general public. The feature allows people to use five additional reactions beyond just the "like" action to convey their reaction to a post. The new reactions are "love", "haha", "wow", "sad", and "anger" (another reaction, "yay", that was used in initial testing of the feature, has been removed). Although the names differ across languages, the emoticons used are the same across languages. Each user can add at most one reaction to a post. An early version of Reactions was released in October 2015 in Ireland and Spain.|
|2016||March 18||Product||Facebook provide "Basketball Game" function in Messenger.|
|2016||April 12 and 13||Product||Facebook F8 for 2016 includes a number of announcements about the product roadmap. Key highlights include: Messenger chatbots and a new bot engine, open source virtual reality camera, more tools for Facebook apps and Facebook Live, allowing businesses to send sponsored messages to people who have messaged them in the past, more changes around improving rights management for videos, and increased support for React Native from Microsoft and Samsung.|
|2016||April 21||Product (news feed)||Facebook announces that it is updating its news feed algorithm to take into account the time that a person spends reading the article, off Facebook (using various techniques to control for load time and article length). In the previous set of updates rolled out in June and July 2015, Facebook had started taking into account the time people spend viewing the item in their news feed, but the new change takes into account the user's activity outside Facebook. The change is part of Facebook's Feed Quality Program, and is a result of research showing that people's activity on Facebook failed to fully capture the extent to which they were interested in particular items. Commentators believe that this is likely to lead to a significant reduction in the circulation of misleading clickbait on the social network.|
|2016||April 27 and 28||Financial/legal, userbase||Facebook releases its 2016 Q1 earnings report, showing an increase in earnings to 77 cents per share up from 42 cents per share a year ago. The earnings beat analyst expectations, and cause Facebook share prices to soar, leading its market cap to exceed that of Johnson & Johnson. Facebook also reports an increase of 57% in advertising revenue to $5.2 billion, with mobile advertising now accounting for 82% of advertising revenue. It also reports an year-over-year increase in daily active users by 16% to 1.09 billion and in monthly active users by 15% to 1.65 billion. Facebook also announces a proposal to create a new class of nonvoting stock.|
|2016||May||Product, controversy||Gizmodo publishes a series of articles about alleged problems with Facebook's Trending Topics section, including lack of integration of the Trending Topics team with Facebook's overall culture and workforce, discretion vested in that team to make decisions (including the ability to artificially inject content into Trending Topics even if it has not been trending so far), and potential for bias in the way the discretion is exercised, with a particular focus on bias against conservatism. The controversy is picked up by other news media, the United States Senate Committee, and many conservative outlets. Facebook defends itself against the allegations, but also invites leading conservatives, including United States Republican presidential primary frontrunner Donald Trump, libertarian-leaning conservative commentator Glenn Beck (who is very impressed with Facebook's actions), and CNN commentator S. E. Cupp, for a meeting to discuss and address concerns. On May 23, Facebook announces changes to its Trending Topics section, and releases a 28-page document on the subject.|
|2016||May 25||Product||Facebook announces that it is shutting down Facebook Exchange (FBX), its desktop ad exchange. The reasons cited include that FBX makes a very small share of Facebook's ad revenue, and that it is of limited utility because is purely desktop-based, and any successful ad campaign must include mobile, that people are increasingly using.|
|2016||June 15||Product||Facebook introduces the secret Messenger soccer game, similar to the basketball game.|
|2016||June 29||Product (news feed)||Facebook publishes its list of "News Feed Values" that will guide its decisions and algorithms for the news feed. A core value listed is that friends and family come first, and Facebook announces that it is increasing the circulation of content about friends and family relative to publisher content.|
|2016||June 30||Product (fundraising)||Facebook adds the ability for anybody to do a fundraiser on behalf of a nonprofit.|
|2016||August 4||Product (news feed)||Facebook announces algorithm changes that penalize "clickbait" titles, based on a score assigned by a machine-learned model. The model is trained based on cases where users like a link, click it, and then immediately bounce and unlike pages. The algorithm is applied both at the web domain level and at the Facebook page level.|
|2016||August 11||Product (advertising)||Facebook and AdBlock Plus enter into an escalating war. AdBlock Plus tries to block advertisements and sponsored content on Facebook's site, but Facebook releases a workaround, to which AdBlock Plus releases its own workaround. Facebook's argument is that ad blockers are a crude solution, and Facebook's approach of giving users more fine-grained control over the content they see in the feed is superior. AdBlock Plus disagrees with the assessment and says ad blockers should not be blamed for users' desire to have an ad-free experience. The ad blocking war continues into September and discussion continues into November, with Facebook reportedly having boosted its ad revenue owing to its blocking of ads.|
|2016||October 2||Accessibility||Facebook launches Messenger Lite, a stripped-down version of its Messenger app for low-end phones and poor Internet connections.|
|2016||October 3||Product||In the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand, Facebook launches Marketplace, a way to buy and sell items through Facebook. Marketplace appears as a tab in the mobile app. The feature has been compared to Craigslist.|
|2016||November 30||Product||Facebook launches in select countries Instant Games on Messenger and Facebook News Feed, which allows users to play games without installing new apps. The games are provided via HTML5. At launch, Instant Games does not allow game developers to place ads or in-game payments in games, but Facebook commits to allowing eventual monetization. The platform initially has 17 games.|
|2016||December 15||Product (news feed)||Facebook announces a set of news feed updates to combat the problem of fake news and hoaxes. These include more streamlining for users reporting fake news, a partnership with signatory organizations to Poynter’s International Fact Checking Code of Principles to examine items reported as fake, learning from lower share rates for people who view the article that the item might be fake, and warnings to users when they share news that is disputed or possibly fake.|
|2017||January 11||Outreach||Facebook introduces the Facebook Journalism Project, an effort to bolster its relationship with media and news organizations and journalists.|
|2017||end of January||Product||Facebook begins integrating the Messenger interface into the messages inbox, replacing the old inbox interface. This change makes the Facebook messages inbox interface similar to that seen on messenger.com.|
|2017||February 15||Product||In the United States and Canada, Facebook launches a feature to search for jobs. The feature allows businesses to post job openings through the status update composer, and allows users to apply to those job postings.|
|2017||February 16||Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook's principal founder and CEO) pens a long note on his personal Facebook titled "Building Global Community" that talks about supportive, safe, informed, civically-engaged, and inclusive community. The note receives widespread discussion, including comparisons with a political manifesto.|
|2017||March 23||Product (messaging)||Facebook adds reactions and mentions inside Messenger (both the app and the web experience).|
|2017||April 27||Accessibility||Facebook launches Messenger Lite in over 100 additional countries.|
|2017||May 3||Product||Facebook adds reactions to comments. Reactions were previously available on messages (sent via Messenger) and Facebook posts but not in comments.|
|2017||May 21||Controversy||The Guardian publishes The Facebook Files, leaked Facebook documents detailing Facebook's moderation policies for graphic depictions of sex and violence as well as racist, sexist, and hate speech. The revelations lead to public discussion of the specifics of Facebook's policies, as well as calls on Facebook to be more transparent.|
|2017||March 30, May 24||Product (fundraising)||Facebook Fundraising is launched. On March 30, the fundraising tools are introduced in beta. On May 24, the product exits beta and is available in the United States for all users over 18 years of age.|
|2017||June 27||Userbase||Facebook reaches 2 billion monthly active users.|
|2017||August 18||Facebook Messenger rolls out rich text formatting, with support for bold, italics, inline code, and strike-through. In addition, LaTeX math expressions are implemented through KaTeX.|
|2017||September 7||Userbase/controversy||Facebook blocks 470 fake accounts after claiming them to be linked to Russia’s Internet Research Agency, which is suspect to have bought thousands of ads during the United States presidential campaign. The company claims having discovered a Russian-funded campaign to promote divisive social and political messages on its network.|
|2017||September 27||Controversy||United States president Donald Trump declares on Twitter that Facebook was always "anti-Trump". However, the claim wouldn't have sequel in the stock market, with Facebook’s share price on the rise.|
|2017||October 11||Outage||Facebook and Instagram experience widespread outage impacting a large number of users' ability to access the services across the world, with the areas experiencing the most problems appearing to be the West and East Coasts of North America, and various parts of Europe, with parts of South America and Southeast Asia getting errors as well.|
|2017||October 31||Staff||Under intensifying pressure from legislators and consumers to clean up its site, Facebook pledges to double its 10,000-person safety and security staff by end of 2018.|
|2017||November 8||Program launch||In an effort to combat revenge porn, Facebook encourages users in Australia to submit their nude photos to a pilot project designed to prevent intimate images from being shared without consent. Adults who have shared nude or sexually explicit photos with someone online, and who are worried about unauthorised distribution, under the program can securely send the photos to themselves via Messenger, a process that allows Facebook to "hash" them, creating an identifier which would block any further distribution on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger as a pre-emptive strike against revenge porn, a common method of abuse and exploitation online.|
|2017||November 16||Product||In an effort to combat fake news and promote authentic, fact-based journalism, Facebook launches Trust Indicators, a tool to help users determine how each particular publication works. The measure is also taken by Google and Twitter.|
|2017||November 16||Product||After live videos having skyrocketed on Facebook in the last months, the social network launches Facebook Creator, an app for mobile video posts offering influencers Live Creative Kit for adding intros and outros to broadcasts, a unified inbox of Facebook and Instagram comments plus Messenger chats, cross-posting to Twitter and expansive analytics.|
|2017||December 3||Staff||Facebook opens new office in London, expecting to hire 800 new staff. Interiorly designed by Frank Gehry, the office would be Facebook's biggest engineering hub outside the United States.|
|2017||December 4||Product||Facebook launches Messenger Kids, a version of Messenger for children from ages six to 12. The app does not require a Facebook account (illegal for this range of age). Rather, parents are able to manage a child’s Messenger Kids app from their Facebook account, controlling which friends and family members the child is able to contact.|
|2018||January 11||Acquisition||Facebook acquires personalized image search engine Dreambit.|
|2018||January 25||Controversy||Facebook admits to the United States Senate that its software, in some cases, recommended content produced by Russian propaganda operatives around the time of the 2016 presidential election; stating however that it has found insignificant overlap between Russian-produced content and pages created by the Trump's election campaign.|
|2017||December 19||Product||In an affort to prevent people from impersonating others, Facebook expands its use of facial recognition technology by introducing new tool that would alert people that a friend, or a friend of a friend, uploaded a photo of them, even if they haven’t been tagged in the picture.|
|2018||January 23||Acquisition||Facebook acquires Boston-based biometric ID verification startup Confirm.io, which offers a system for verifying the authenticity of ID cards, biometrics and facial recognition.|
|2018||January 30||Policy||In an intentionally broad policy aimed at stopping scammers, Facebook bans all ads promoting cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and initial coin offerings.|
|2018||January 31||Userbase||Facebook reports losing daily users for the first time ever in the United States and Canada. However, globally, the number of people using Facebook daily rose 14% compared to the previous year, but falling by 700,000 people in the USA and Canada for the first time.|
|2018||March 17–26||Controversy||A whistleblower reveals that British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica harvested 50 million Facebook profiles and used personal information taken without authorisation in early 2014 to build a system that could profile individual voters in the United States, in order to target them with personalized political advertisements. On March 26, the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announces it is investigating Facebook's privacy practices following the revelations. The scandal would affect deeply the image of Facebook, with a lost of nearly US$50 billion in market capitalization since the data scandal.|
|2018||April 10–11||Legal||Mark Zuckerberg attends his first congressional hearings at Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. testifying about controversies over Facebook data privacy, and being questioned for almost 10 hours in two days by senators and representatives over the company's privacy policies. On the first day, Zuckerberg repeatedly apologizes and promises privacy reforms on Facebook, but also pointedly defends his company against the threat of new legislation. Facing tougher questions on the second day regarding Facebook policies about user privacy, data collection, political bias and the social network's business model, Zuckerberg would reject suggestions from Congress members that Facebook users did not have enough control over their data. However, he would explain plans to tighten data policies, protect users from further leaks and become more transparent about who's advertising on his site.|
|2018||April 26||Legal||Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer is grilled for five hours by the UK Parliament; he is a stand-in for CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Among other things, in the testimony he gives estimates of Facebook's numbers of "dark ads" on Facebook, in connection with consumer advocate Martin Lewis whose name was used by malicious advertisers on advertisements for spam and misleading products.|
|2018||August 1||Product||Facebook introduces a new dashboard to tell users how long they’ve spent inside the app, along with tools for setting daily limits and temporarily muting users' push notifications. The feature, called “Your time on Facebook”, is equivalent to “Your activity” on Instagram, introduced at the same time, and is designed to address concerns that addictive feedback loops built into social apps have been detrimental to users’ well-being.|
- Timeline of social media
- Timeline of Twitter
- Timeline of Instagram
- Timeline of Pinterest
- Timeline of Snapchat
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