Tech

This is what people thought of Facebook when it launched back in 2004

Your boss has added you. You're one of only four of your nan's 'Friends'. Even your neighbour's aggressive pug has a profile page.

Celebrating its 12 birthday, Facebook now boasts a ubiquity on a par with grass, the word 'table' and the colour yellow, it wasn't always so.

This is what the world's wider media thought of Mark Zuckerberg's social network 'thefacebook.com' when it was launched for Harvard students back in 2004, along with various other flash points of comment during its short-yet-dominant history.

  • This is what people thought of Facebook when it launched back in 2004

    Mississippi State Reflector

    "A new pestilence is sweeping across the land with unremitting virulence. You may have thought you were safe from it... The Facebook."

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    Indiana State University

    "There is no explanation on the web site for the poke option. You choose to poke someone and they can either ignore it or poke you back. The poke signifies no more than a digital 'howdy'."

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    The Chronicle of Higher Education

    "Facebook is fascinating -- an interactive, image-laden directory featuring groups that share lifestyles or attitudes. Many students find it addictive, as evidenced by discussion groups with names like "Addicted to the Facebook," which boasts 330 members at Iowa State."

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    Los Angeles Times

    "Pouty-mouth glamour puss is the favored female photo pose. Male portraits often capture narcoleptic undergrads mid-kegger, adorned with live animals, football-foam headgear -- or other narcoleptic undergrads."

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    Wired

    "The site's founders are banking on its long-term health. Though the costs of running it have increased from about $85 to almost $3,000 a month, Thefacebook is now self-sufficient, thanks to an influx of ad revenue, Hughes said. Ads from search powerhouse Google will pay for the site for a while, Zuckerberg said."

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    The Harvard Crimson

  • This is what people thought of Facebook when it launched back in 2004 6

    The Tufts

    "The popularity of theFacebook.com sparked tongue-in-cheek social commentary at participating universities. In a March 11 editorial, Harvard's daily undergraduate paper, The Crimson, called the site's expansion "manifest destiny." Meanwhile a March 5 Stanford Daily article said students were skipping classes, ignoring work and "spending hours in front of their computers in utter fascination."

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    New York Times

    "As on Friendster, users can include a photo -- sometimes sexy, more often a prank graphic -- and favorite books and films. But profiles also include details about academic life, including what classes the students are taking. One link even searches for mentions of the student in the campus newspaper."

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    More from Indiana State University

    "Important discussions need to continue about the nature and benefit of computer mediated communication and add thefacebook to the ongoing discussions about e-mail, chat, and blogs. Computer mediated communication has a new added dimension that includes computer mediated social networks."