Launched by Mark Zuckerberg and three of his friends on Feb. 4, 2004 under the name thefacebook.com, the site was initially used as a social meeting point for Harvard University students. However, today, as it celebrates its 20th anniversary, it has evolved into a social media platform with 3 billion users logging in every month.
Founded by Zuckerberg 20 years ago, Facebook quickly gained popularity. After expanding to other U.S. universities, it went public in 2006, showcasing the rapid spread of online platforms.
Within four years, it had overtaken then-social media giant MySpace thanks to innovations such as the ability to tag people in photos.
As a universal platform, Facebook connects people worldwide, with a reported monthly user base exceeding 3 billion.
With Facebook's massive success, Zuckerberg has created an unprecedented social networking and technology kingdom, acquiring and integrating several promising companies into the Facebook brand, including WhatsApp, Instagram and artificial reality company Oculus.
In 2021 Zuckerber introduced Meta, which brings together all apps and technologies under one new company brand.
Meta is now the parent brand for Facebook, with over 3 billion daily users across its various products.
Last week, Zuckerberg hinted at Meta's big plans for artificial general intelligence (AGI).
Meta shares have risen 168% in the last 12 months, pushing the company's value to over $1 trillion, and Zuckerberg's net worth is now $142 billion, according to Bloomberg.
However, Bloomberg analysis suggests that Zuckerberg has not been able to communicate his vision effectively to the public.
In particular, Meta's Reality Labs division, which includes virtual reality technology, has recorded losses totaling $47 billion since 2019. Meta plans to continue investing in this space for at least another decade.
Facebook's boss, who celebrates his 20th birthday this week, is turning 40 and has yet to announce how long he will stay at the helm of the company.