The rise of Facebook: an overview of its history

by our Social Media Agency Optimize 360

In just a few years, Facebook has become an essential platform in the daily lives of billions of users.

But how did the company evolve to dominate the social networking industry? Our Social Media Agency takes us back to the origins and through the key stages in the history of Facebook.



The beginnings of Facebook: an ambitious idea at Harvard

Facebook was founded in February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, a student at Harvard University at the time. Inspired by the concept of an online directory for students, Mark created a platform initially called " Thefacebook" . He developed it with the help of his mates Andrew McCollum, Eduardo Saverin, Chris Hughes and Dustin Moskovitz.

Word-of-mouth as an initial growth driver

Initially, the site was available exclusively to Harvard students. Thanks to word of mouth and exclusive access to the network, it quickly gained popularity among students. By March 2004, more than half of Harvard students were already using Thefacebook.

Rapid expansion through American universities

Faced with this unexpected local success, Facebook is rapidly expanding to other US universitiesIn just a few months, thousands of students have been able to join Thefacebook. In just a few months, thousands of students were able to join Thefacebook, which is still exclusively reserved for university students.

A name change and a move to California

In August 2004, the company acquired the domain name "He then repositioned his image by simply abbreviating his original name to "Facebook". That same year, Mark Zuckerberg decided to move to California to continue developing his flourishing start-up.

Maintaining growth with strategic investments

To support its meteoric growth, Facebook quickly needed additional capital. That's how investor Peter Thiel came on board, contributing $500,000 in exchange for 10.2 % of the capital. Later, in 2007, Microsoft also invested $240 million in Facebook, enabling rapid international expansion.

Opening up to the general public and the challenges of growth

Finally, in September 2006, Facebook opened its doors even wider, and was no longer just reserved for university students. From then on, anyone aged 13 and over could register on the social network. This major development contributed to Facebook's transformation from a simple student phenomenon to a major player on the global Internet landscape.

Acquisitions and strategic integration of new functionalities

Over the years, Facebook has managed to stay one step ahead of its sector by acquiring other digital companies and integrating new functionalities into its platform. Notable acquisitions include Instagram (2012) and WhatsApp (2014), which have enriched the site's ecosystem.

Technological innovation for an optimal user experience

Facebook is not just a virtual place to share photos and statuses with friends. The company is focusing its development on technological innovation, as demonstrated by the emergence of live video and the acquisition of virtual reality company Oculus VR in 2014. The aim is simple: to offer the best user experience possible by offering ever more content.

Facebook in figures: an astonishing expansion

It's hard to imagine today that Facebook was born less than two decades ago in a university dorm room. Here's some impressive statistics which clearly illustrate the scale of its expansion:

  • In September 2021, the number of monthly active users will exceed 2.91 billion.
  • Every day, around 350 million photos are shared on Facebook.
  • The average time spent by a user on Facebook is 58 minutes a day.
  • The site is available in over 100 languages.

These figures put into perspective just how far we've come, and point to a very promising future for the platform.

Looking ahead: defending our leadership in the social networking industry

While Facebook currently dominates the social networking market, the company is nevertheless facing increasing competition.

Between controversies over the protection of personal data, the rise of other networks such as TikTok, and aspirations for a more ethical and responsible digital world, the story of Facebook continues and its future remains exciting to follow.

What do you offer as a digital agency specialising in social network management?

We offer a full range of social network management services, including content creation, publication planning, ad management, monitoring and performance analysis.

Why is it important for my company to be active on social networks?

Social networks provide a platform for interacting with your target audience, raising brand awareness, promoting your products/services and generating leads.

Which social networks should I use for my business?

The choice of platforms depends on your target audience and your objectives. We'll help you identify the best platforms for your business.

How will you create content for my social networks?

We work with you to understand your brand and audience, then develop relevant and engaging content, including text, images and video.

Can you manage social network advertising for my company?

Yes, we can create, manage and optimise advertising campaigns on social networks to achieve your marketing objectives.

What is the recommended frequency of publication on social networks?

The frequency of publication varies depending on the platform, your audience and your objectives. We'll draw up a publication schedule tailored to your business.

How do you measure the results of your social network management?

We use analysis tools to track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as engagement, web traffic, conversions and return on investment (ROI).

Can I access my social network statistics at any time?

Yes, we will provide you with access to a dashboard so that you can monitor performance in real time.

What are the costs associated with your social network management services?

Costs vary depending on the scope of our services and your specific requirements. We will provide you with a personalised quote after an initial consultation.

How can I start working with your agency?

You can contact us via our website or by telephone to arrange an initial consultation.

We'll discuss your needs and develop a plan tailored to your business.

Our main agencies specialising in Social Networks

Social Media Agency Paris Optimize 360

Our Social Media Agency Paris was the first to be created in 2012 by its founder Frédéric POULET.

The team of Paris SEO experts is divided into several geographical sectors:


Social Media Agency Lyon Optimize 360

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Social Media Agency Marseille PACA Optimize 360

Headed by Franck La Pinta, Optimize 360 has branches throughout the PACA region.

Social Media Agencies Switzerland Optimize 360

Headed by Jean-François Hartwig, Optimize 360 has two SEO agencies in Switzerland:

Social Media Agencies Bordeaux Optimize 360

Optimize 360 is present in Bordeaux and throughout the southern Aquitaine region, with its

Agence Social Metz Nancy Optimize 360

Optimize 360 is present throughout the Grand Est region of France

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