Facebook has suffered some ignominious strikeouts during its 10 years. Consider these 10 features and products that didn't fly.
1 of 11
Few could have predicted the rise of Facebook when Harvard University sophomore Mark Zuckerberg launched it with friends from his dorm room 10 years ago.
Back then it was "thefacebook.com," a social network exclusively for Harvard students. The service had no photo albums, no Timeline, no News Feed. It was a bare-bones, static profile page where users could list their basic information and interests.
Facebook's popularity rose quickly, amassing hundreds of thousands of users as it expanded to colleges and universities, high schools, and beyond. The social network boasts more than a billion users worldwide today.
In a recent interview, Zuckerberg reflected on Facebook's tenure and his own success: "I'm just really lucky. I really feel this deep responsibility, and I try to help folks here feel how unique of a position we're in, and that we need to do the best that we can," he said.
While Facebook's rise to fame was fast, it wasn't without obstacles: In the last 10 years, the social network endured its fair share of turmoil in countless lawsuits and numerous privacy debacles. Just months after launching in 2004, Harvard University rival social network ConnectU filed a lawsuit against Facebook alleging that Zuckerberg copied its idea, stealing source code and intellectual property.
The social network has been at the center of many other lawsuits since then. The company settled two: one concerning Facebook Beacon, its controversial ad platform, and another involving Sponsored Stories, another type of ad. Both lawsuits centered on users' privacy.
Facebook reported that it was profitable for the first time in 2009. That year, the company brought in $777 million in revenue -- nearly triple that of 2008, SEC documents later revealed. It has come a long way since then. Last week, Facebook reported fourth-quarter sales of $2.6 billion, up 63% from the same time last year.
In a decade, Zuckerberg's team converted thefacebook.com from a standalone profile page to a social network with a bevy of features: Timeline, News Feed, Chat, Messaging, advertising, Pages, Facebook Credits, photo albums, commenting, sharing, and more.
Along the way, Facebook has tested a number of experimental designs and features, green-lighting some and killing others. Here's a look at 10 features from Facebook's past that didn't survive. Which ones got you riled, Facebook users?
Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio
Social is a Business ImperativeThe use of social media for a host of business purposes is rising. Indeed, social is quickly moving from cutting edge to business basic. Organizations that have so far ignored social - either because they thought it was a passing fad or just didnít have the resources to properly evaluate potential use cases and products - must start giving it serious consideration.
Social is a Business ImperativeSocial media is critical in the age of digital business. How can IT help? First, work with the marketing team to set up social networking programs on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, at minimum. Then work to put social media sentiment analytics in place to measure success.
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.