The key feature of Facebook since the beginning was the “Wall”. The wall served as the original profile space for users. You could do a number of things, like posting on your wall, at the time, text only, or post on your friends’ wall. By May 2008, each profile had a wall-to-wall limit of 40 messages. This space also listed changes to your profile, including when you made a new friend, changed your profile picture, or anything else.
The first major change to Facebook, one that completely changed social media was made in 2006. On September 6, 2006, Facebook introduced the News Feed. This is still the same news feed we see today, or the first thing we see every time we open up the application. The News feed stream is a reverse chronological log of our friends’ activities. The algorithm has changed over the years, but News Feed still shows status updates, profile picture changes, birthdays, upcoming events, added pictures, and now, comments and likes.
In the beginning, you could only post text on your wall or on your friends’ wall. In 2007, Facebook allows used to post attachments to each other’ wall, including photos and videos. In 2009, the social media also introduced the feature “tagging”, which allowed you to put the name of a friend, event, group, or anything else, and tag it in a post. In 2011, Facebook also added tagging to comments.
You can safely say that nobody today remembers Facebook before the Like button. Introduced in February 2009, it is the most iconic feature of Facebook, and one of the biggest innovations in social media. The Like button gives users ability to show support, interest, or good humor in someone else’s post. By September 2010, more than 350,000 websites worldwide installed the Like button directly on their webpage. Some experts believe it is the Like button that draws people to Facebook. We look for approval of our peers, and that Like is what keeps us back coming to social media over and over again. You post a picture, and you want to see who liked it. For example, did your crush like your photo?
Another revolution made by Facebook was in 2010. At that point, Facebook partnered with Zynga, and introduced popular gaming titles on Facebook, none more popular than Farmville. Chances are, 50% of your friends played Farmville at one point. And then you had the social impact like sending gifts and energy to friends and so on. In 2012, with games at their peak, 13% of Facebook’s revenue came from games.
When Mark Zuckerberg introduced Facebook messages, or the Messenger application, he called it “The Gmail Killer”. Every user could have @facebook.com email address, and also combined email, regular messages, instant messages, and more. Messenger is still very popular, but it was never and will never be the Gmail Killer. In 2012, Facebook allowed Android users to use Messenger without a FB account.
When timeline was introduced in 2011, it stirred controversy. Some people loved it, others hated it. But it was definitely revolutionary, and completely changed Facebook’s interface. Launched in 2011, Timeline was described as a “new kind of profile that allows you to highlight photos, posts, and life events”.