Facebook then and now (pictures)

The social network turns 10 on February 4. CNET looks back at the many variations of the service over the years.

Jennifer Van Grove
Jennifer Van Grove covered the social beat for CNET. She loves Boo the dog, CrossFit, and eating vegan. Her jokes are often in poor taste, but her articles are not.
Jennifer Van Grove
1 of 22 Facebook

The Facebook, circa 2004

Facebook went live on February 4, 2004 in Mark Zuckerberg's Harvard University dorm room and was initially called "The Facebook." Ten years later, the social network has more than 1.23 billion users who use the service on the Web or mobile each month.

Facebook's first ads started running in 2004. The one pictured here was likely a "flyer," which Facebook sold to small businesses for $10 to $40 a day, according to Facebook's first ad salesman, Kevin Colleran.

2 of 22 Facebook

Facebook Groups in 2005

In 2004 and 2005, the Facebook profile was the heart of the social-networking experience, but Groups were also a big part of the early site. News Feed had yet to come into existence.
3 of 22 Facebook

Facebook refreshes the profile

A 2005 redesign makes the member profile a little less cluttered.
facebook 2006
4 of 22 Facebook

2006: The year of the Feed

On September 5, 2006, Facebook rolled out News Feed and Mini-Feed to its audience. It was a big and controversial addition to the then profile-centric social network. The Mini-Feed section on each member's profile showed what content he or she had recently added and recent activity elsewhere on the network.
5 of 22 Facebook

Say hello to News Feed

"These features are not only different from anything we've had on Facebook before, but they're quite unlike anything you can find on the Web," Facebook said of News Feed and Mini-Feed at the time.

Later that same month, Facebook opened up to anyone 13 or older with a valid e-mail address.

6 of 22 Facebook

2007 and the Inbox

In 2007, Facebook once again simplified its profile design, this time switching up its navigation to include its core features at the top, applications on the left-hand side, and settings in the right-hand corner. With the rollout, the company also introduced "Inbox" as a redesign of its former "My Messages" and "My Shares" pages.

7 of 22 Facebook

News Feed takes over in 2007

Facebook tweaked News Feed in 2007 to be more at the center of its universe.

It also launched Facebook platform and video later in the year. By July, Facebook hit 30 million active members.

8 of 22 Facebook

Facebook in 2008

The social network, which hit 100 million users in 2008, launched Facebook Chat, the Wall, and Facebook for iPhone during the year.
9 of 22 Facebook

The Wall is born

In July of 2008, Facebook invited its members to try out the "new Facebook," which came with tabs and something called "The Wall." Like Mini-Feed, your Wall surfaced updates related to you. The Wall also came with "Publisher" atop the tab for posting photos, notes, and statuses to your Wall.
10 of 22 Facebook

DIY feeds

In 2008, Facebook let people create their own custom feeds.
11 of 22 Facebook

2009: Facebook for 'Everyone'

On March 16, 2009, Facebook made the controversial decision to let people, for the first time, post their content beyond their circle of friends. The company added a privacy option called "Everyone," which meant that members could designate the type of content that was viewable to anyone.

In September 2009, Facebook surpassed 300 million users.

12 of 22 Facebook

The real-time stream

In May of 2009, Facebook tried to be more like Twitter by turning its feed into an automatically updating feed.
13 of 22 Facebook

Facebook notifications arrive in 2010

A new year gave birth to an updated profile design in 2010 with a restructured navigation, again in the name of simplicity. The notifications menu, still around in similar form today, made its debut in February atop the page alongside the Facebook logo.

Before the end of July 2010, Facebook would hit half a billion users.

14 of 22 Facebook

A tale of two Feeds

In 2010, Facebook gave people two options for News Feed: Top News and Most Recent. If you had not logged onto Facebook in awhile, your home page would default to the Top News view of News Feed.

You've probably long forgotten them, but Facebook Questions also made their debut in 2010.

15 of 22 Facebook

Timeline is the new profile

Facebook Timeline debuted in 2011 as the social network's fresh twist on profiles. It was organized like, as the name dictates, a visual timeline and was designed to help members tell their own stories, dating back to their birth. The two-column layout wasn't universally loved, but the company pushed forward with a widespread release by the end of the year.
16 of 22 Facebook

News Feed gets a real-time Ticker

Ticker arrived alongside Timeline and a News Feed redesign in September 2011. Ticker took over the right-hand column and included a comprehensive stream of your friends' activity. It was Facebook's second stab at making its feed more real-time in nature.
17 of 22 Facebook

Timeline grows up

In 2012, Facebook made a number of tweaks to Timeline as it fudged with the design and layout of its radical redo to the member profile. By October of the year, Facebook hit the 1 billion-member milestone.
18 of 22 Facebook

News Feed in 2012

Facebook News Feed stayed mostly the same in 2012, though the social network started to pull back on Ticker, making the stream far less prominent. Ticker was mostly killed off in the 2013 redesign.
19 of 22 Facebook

Facebook Timeline today

As it stands, Timeline remains the de facto member profile. In March of 2013, Facebook cleaned up Timeline by dumping the two-column format and adding application sections to feature each person's individual tastes in music, books, and other entertainment.
20 of 22 Facebook

New News Feed

In March 2013, Facebook unveiled its bigger, bolder version of News Feed -- that, nearly a year later, a majority of people are still waiting to get.
21 of 22 Facebook

An early version of Facebook for iPhone

And don't forget about Facebook's mobile evolution. In July of 2008, Facebook released its first mobile application for Apple's iPhone. Before the app, there was "Facebook for Mobile," which launched in April 2006.
22 of 22 Facebook

Facebook for iPhone, Android today

The company's mobile application has undergone a number of improvements to arrive at its current version, which finally feels fast and fluid. Thankfully, for its business at least, Facebook also has optimized its mobile apps to serve up ads. The social network ended 2013 with 945 million mobile monthly active users.

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