Detailed History of Facebook Changes 2004-12 [Research]

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If you haven’t already, make sure you check out my new video Timeline: The History of Facebook in Less than 90 Seconds. The video was put together by Andy Greenhaw and is a dizzying trip through Facebook changes from 2004-2012.

What’s amazing about this video is that it only highlights the major changes. When I put together the research for the video, I created a six-page document that detailed Facebook changes since the social network’s humble beginnings. But for the sake of entertainment, we cut out most of it from the final product.

Now you get to see what was left on the cutting room floor. I used the Facebook Blog as my source for most of these changes, and I link to the specific blog entry where possible.

So here is the detailed history of Facebook changes. The transformation is amazing.

Are there any major changes missing? Please let me know so that I can update my list!

[wptabs mode="horizontal"] [wptabtitle]2004-06[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

2004

  • February: Launched as TheFacebook.com, limited only to Harvard students
  • March: Expanded to Stanford, Columbia and Yale
  • No photos, wall, news feed, events or pages yet
  • Reached 1M users

2005

  • Purchased facebook.com domain for $200k and dropped “the”
  • Introduced Photos
  • September: High school version launched

2006

  • January: Friend Details (how you know your friends)
  • February: High School and College Facebook Merged
  • March: Redesigned Groups and Events
  • Spring: Expanded to include work networks
  • Spring: Facebook Mobile Texts
  • Spring: My Messages Page launched
  • Spring: Browse launched
  • Spring: Mobile Photo Uploads
  • Spring: My Photos page upgraded
  • Summer: Search functionality added for former classmates and coworkers
  • Summer: Global Groups and Events
  • August 15: Facebook Development Platform Launched
  • August 22: Facebook Notes
  • Late August: Mobile Web
  • September 5: News Feed and Mini-Feed launched
  • September 8: New privacy controls
  • September: Added spam prevention systems
  • September 26: Opened to all 13 and up with valid email address
  • October 27: Share links to articles, photos and videos
  • October 31: Share Button
  • November 15: News Feed Preferences
  • Fall: Privacy controls for when you poke, message and add friends
  • December: Profile picture photo album, keeps history of your profile photos
[/wptabcontent]

[wptabtitle]2007[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

  • January 10: Mobile Web (again) announced for mobile friendly Facebook
  • January 10: Mobile Uploads
  • January 10: Mobile Texts
  • January 17: List screen names for IM clients in contact info of profiles
  • January 24: Redesign of My Privacy page
  • February 7: Give virtual gifts
  • March: Group Update Information and create Events from Groups
  • March 14: Photo Sorting and Organizing
  • March 15: Export photos directly from iPhoto to Facebook albums
  • April 11: Navigation and profile simplification
  • April 11: My Messages and My Shares changed to Inbox
  • April 11: Network Pages launched
  • April 20: Added “[user] is…” before each status update
  • April 20: Friends’ three most recent updates on the home page
  • April 20: See all friends’ updates at once
  • April 20: RSS feed of friends’ updates
  • April 20: Subscribe to a friend’s updates via SMS
  • April 20: Update status from your phone by sending an SMS to Facebook
  • April 24: Gift Shop accessible to blind via screen-reader
  • May 14: Marketplace completely rolled out (classifieds)
  • May 24: Facebook Platform launched
  • June 22: Facebook Video Launched (tagging, FB video player, video messaging, mobile integration)
  • July: Post Attachments to the Wall
  • July 10: 30 Million Users
  • August 15: Facebook for iPhone Mobile Site
  • August 20: Send Facebook Messages to Facebook User or email address
  • September 5: Public Search Listings
  • November 6: Facebook Pages for Businesses launched
  • November 6: Social Ads launched, making advertising relevant
  • November 6: Share activities taken off of Facebook (Beacon)
  • November 9: Publish your activities on Facebook Pages to News Feeds
  • December: Make a tagged photo your profile photo
  • December 5: Beacon made opt-in
  • December 19: Friend Lists launched
[/wptabcontent]

[wptabtitle]2008[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

  • January: Extended Profile to declutter
  • February 11: Spanish version launched, set language
  • February 20: Interaction with applications curbed to block spam
  • March 19: New privacy interface and options
  • April 4: Ignore application invites from specific friends
  • April 6: Facebook Chat Launched
  • April 15: Import activities from Flickr, Picasa, Yelp and del.icio.us
  • May 1: People You May Know
  • May 23: Import activities from YouTube, Pandora and other sites
  • June 4: Suggest Friends to other Friends
  • June 19: Inbox Search
  • June 23: More language translations and 55 others opened to the community
  • June 25: Comment on friends’ mini-feed stories from their profile
  • July 10: Facebook for iPhone Application
  • July 21: The Wall
  • July 21: The Publisher – publish content directly to the Wall
  • July 21: New tabbed profile design (Wall, Info, Photos, Boxes)
  • August 26: 100 Million Users
  • September 19: Pirate Translation
  • October 7: Microsoft Live Search added to Facebook Search
  • October 31: Gift Shop Credits
  • December 4: Facebook Connect Launched
  • December 5: Higher quality video
  • December 17: Seamless browsing commenting pop-up
[/wptabcontent]

[wptabtitle]2009[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

  • January 7: 150 Million Users
  • January 30: Birthday Reminders
  • February 4: Update to Terms of Use
  • February 9: Like button added to friends’ content
  • February 11: Schedule a virtual gift on Valentine’s Day
  • February 17: Temporary return to prior Terms of Use after uproar
  • February 24: Group Administrators able to change Group Name
  • March 3: New version of Facebook Marketplace (powered by Oodle)
  • March 4: New profiles for public figures and organizations (formerly Pages)
  • March 11: Facebook available in Arabic and Hebrew
  • March 11: New Home Page design, real-time stream, new filters, improved Publisher, Highlights
  • March 16: “Everyone” option available to create public posts
  • April 8: 200 Million Users
  • April 27: View your Facebook stream on websites and applications outside of site
  • April 30: New Friends Page for organizing and filtering
  • May 4: News Feed now updates in real time, no longer needing to be refreshed
  • May 6: Filter friends by Recently Updated and view Only Status Updates
  • May 8: Family Relationships added
  • May 11: Facebook Chat updated to include Friend Lists and Offline Mode
  • May 11: Notifications appear in real time above chat bar as pop-up alerts
  • May 19: Increased size limit of photo albums from 60 to 200 photos
  • May 20: New Application Directory
  • May 22: Update to Facebook Credits, removing a Zero
  • May 29: Presentation of People in search results updated
  • June 2: Removing Regional Networks
  • June 4: Subscribe via SMS to friends’ status updates
  • June 13: Facebook Usernames
  • June 18: Streamlined Inbox
  • June 22: Display alternate names
  • July 8: Create Events from the Publisher
  • July 8: Facebook Fan Box on Websites
  • July 15: 250 Million Users
  • July 17: New Tools to Secure a Compromised Account
  • July 22: Upload Photos or Videos via email
  • August 10: Improved Facebook Search
  • August 20: Publish Facebook Page content to Twitter
  • August 24: Invite Friends to an Event Who Attended Prior Event
  • September 14: Tag Friends in Status Updates
  • September 15: 300 Million Users
  • September 17: Log in with Username in addition to email address
  • October 19: Revamped Groups for consistent design and publish to News Feeds
  • October 21: Retooled Gift Shop, including Music
  • October 23: Change to two views: News Feed and Live Feed
  • October 23: Friends Suggestion Box
  • October 26: Share Count added to Share Button
  • November 17: Xbox Connects with Facebook
  • November 17: New Privacy Policy Adopted
  • December 9: Simpler Privacy Controls Launched/All Users Required to Update
  • December 16: Relationship Anniversaries Added to Profile
[/wptabcontent]

[wptabtitle]2010[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

[/wptabcontent]

[wptabtitle]2011-12[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

2011

  • January 5: 600 Million Users
  • January 19: Facebook for Feature Phones Application
  • April 25: Improvements to Facebook Groups
  • April 26: Expansion of Deals to Deals on Facebook
  • May 30: 700 Million Users
  • July 6: Video Calling and Other Improvements to Facebook Chat
  • August 11: Improvements to Games including Games Ticker
  • August 23: More Controls to See Who You are Sharing With
  • August 26: Bigger, Faster Photos
  • September 13: Improved Friend Lists, including Smart Lists and Notifications
  • September 14: Subscribe Button to Subscribe to Non-Friends’ public content, allow non-friends to subscribe to your public content, and better control what content you see from your friends
  • September 20: Top Stories on News Feed
  • September 20: The Ticker
  • September 22: 800 Million Users
  • September 22: Facebook Timeline for Profiles
  • October 10: Facebook for iPad
  • October 19: Facebook Messenger Mobile Application
  • November 10: Recent Stories Filter
  • December 7: Updated Facebook for Android Application
  • December 8: Facebook Subscribe Button for Websites
  • December 15: Timeline Available on Mobile

2012

  • January 12: Listen to Music with your Friends
  • January 18: Apps for Timeline launched, allowing frictionless sharing
  • February 1: IPO Filing
  • February 29: Facebook Timeline for Pages
  • March 3: Facebook Interest Lists
[/wptabcontent]

[wptabtitle] Images[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

2004


facebook 2004 640 560x482 Detailed History of Facebook Changes 2004 12 [Research]

(Source: Mashable)

2005


facebook 2005 560x579 Detailed History of Facebook Changes 2004 12 [Research]

(Source: Mashable)

2006

facebook 2006 640 560x566 Detailed History of Facebook Changes 2004 12 [Research]

(Source: Mashable)

2007

facebook 2007 640 560x510 Detailed History of Facebook Changes 2004 12 [Research]

(Source: Mashable)

2008

facebook 2008 640 560x519 Detailed History of Facebook Changes 2004 12 [Research]

(Source: Mashable)

2009

facebook 2009 640 560x358 Detailed History of Facebook Changes 2004 12 [Research]

(Source: Mashable)

2010

facebook 2010 640 560x426 Detailed History of Facebook Changes 2004 12 [Research]

(Source: Mashable)

2011

facebook timeline1 1 560x320 Detailed History of Facebook Changes 2004 12 [Research]

2012

facebook 20121 600x600 Detailed History of Facebook Changes 2004 12 [Research]

[/wptabcontent]

[/wptabs]

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About Jon Loomer

Jon Loomer is a digital marketing consultant with a unique perspective on social media. He was introduced to Facebook in 2007 while with the NBA (back before Pages) and has been using Facebook for business ever since. Stay in touch by liking his Facebook Page (Jon Loomer Digital).

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