Social networking site Facebook on Monday turned nine. The social network started just as a college network, but today it is one of the most widespread networks with more than a billion active users worldwide.

While the company has grown fast there are concerns with respect to future revenue earnings.

Started by Mark Zuckerburg on February 4, 2004 with the help of his four friends -- Andrew McCollum, Chris Hughes, Dustin Moskovitz and Eduardo Saverin – in a dorm of Harvard University, it became a huge success among the students.

Called thefacebook.com in its initial days, it got rechristened to just Facebook and Zuckerburg expanded the network to other universities in March 2004. In 2005, it started for High Schools and next year, it became open for all.

The company became public in May 2012 with an initial offering of $100 billion through its listing on Nasdaq Stock Exchange.

Ongoing debates

There have been ongoing debates about the future of Facebook; with the naysayers claiming that the platform's ride on the hype cycle is bound to slow down, as is the case with anything that rides on popularity. Some say, people will just get bored of the routine of sharing and liking.

“You are nine today #Facebook, but you are yet to travel nineyears to turn from a juvenile to matured,” Shobhit Daga tweeted.

However, industry commentators are bullish over the social networking sites future. “Nine years is a long time on the Internet. Facebook has not only survived that long, but also steadily grew. A company with rather humble beginnings outgrowing products created by the Yahoo! and Google, no less, means the company is doing something right,” Rizwan Memon wrote in techtree.com

Headquartered in California, the company has recorded 618 million users daily on average, as of December 2012 and 680 million monthly active users on mobile products. In India, there are around 65 million active users from a total of 130 million Internet users and with its availability in 10 regional languages, the numbers are only growing.

ronendrasingh.s@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on February 4, 2013)
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