Facebook celebrates 10 years

The world’s biggest social network celebrates a decade with more than 1.2 billion users.

The world’s biggest social network celebrates a decade with more than 1.2 billion users. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Ten years ago today, the world witnessed the start of a revolution in how people across the globe communicate online with the founding of Facebook.

The network was founded on 4 February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates and fellow Harvard University students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes.

Facebook has become the dominant social networking platform in the world, with more than 1.2 billion users globally, approximately the same number as the Indian population.


In 2012, Facebook was valued at $104 billion, and by January of 2014 its market capitalisation had risen to more than $134 billion.

An estimated 1.23 billion users are active on the website every month, while at the end of December 2013, 945 million of this total were identified as mobile users.

The company released its own set of revenue data at the end of January 2014 and claimed revenues of $2.59 billion were generated for the three months ending 31 December, 2013 when earnings per share was 31 cents.

Revenues of $7.87 billion were made during 2013, and Facebook's annual profit for 2013 was $1.5 billion.

All users outside of the US and Canada have a contract with Facebook's Irish subsidiary Facebook Ireland Limited, which allows Facebook to avoid US taxes for all users in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and South America.

The company also makes use of the Double Irish arrangement which allows it to pay about 2-3 percent corporation tax on all international revenue.

According to an analyst report in early 2013 Facebook had 604 million mobile users, made up of 192 million Android users, 147 million iPhone users, 48 million iPad users and 56 million messenger users.


The ownership percentages of the company, as of 2012, are:

• Zuckerberg: 28%,

• Accel Partners: 10%

• Digital Sky Technologies: 10%

• Dustin Moskovitz: 6%

• Eduardo Saverin: 5%

• Sean Parker: 4%

• Peter Thiel: 3%

• Greylock Partners: between 1 to 2%

• Meritech Capital Partners: between 1 to 2% each

• Microsoft: 1.3%

• Li Ka-shing: 0.8%

• Interpublic Group: less than 0.5%

A small group of current and former employees and celebrities own less than 1% each.

The remaining 30% or so is owned by employees, an undisclosed number of celebrities, and outside investors.