Facebook – History, Brand Value, and Brand Strategies

Originally founded as TheFacebook, Facebook is a global giant in the social media industry. It was founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and his other Harvard roommates, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes.

The advent of Facebook has changed the entire social connectivity paradigm by enabling users to connect through the internet regardless of their location.

Facebook History

In 2003, Zukerberg started a website named ‘Facemash,’ which garnered around 500 visitors and 22,000 photo views within a few hours. At that time, Harvard Business School only had a paper version of directories and few private portals where they stored personal information and photos.

Zuckerberg came up with the idea and discussed it with Eduardo Saverin, and both decided to invest USD 1,000 in the project. Finally, on February 4th, 2004, Mark Zukerberg launched ‘Facebook’, which we know today as ‘Facebook.’

Six days after the launch of ‘Facebook,’ Zukerberg ran into trouble. Three of his Harvard seniors, namely Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra, accused him of stealing their ideas and implementing them in building his site.

The trio lodged a complaint to a newspaper agency, ‘Crimson,’ and soon investigation followed up. Zuckerberg was sued and finally settled the case in 2008 by giving in 1.2 million shares (equivalent to USD 300 million).

In the initial days, ‘Facebook’ was accessible to Harvard students only, and within a month, it witnessed around half the undergraduate population.

Dustin Moskovitz, Andrew McCollum, and Chris Hughes collaborated with Zukerberg and contributed to the project’s growth. In March 2004, Facebook expanded to universities such as Columbia, Stanford, and Yale and subsequently to all other major universities in the US.

In June 2004, the company moved to Palo Alto, California, receiving its first major investment from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. Later in 2005, Facebook received a whopping USD 12.7 million from Accel Partners, and Jim Breyer, the CEO of Breyer Capital, invested USD 1 million.

  • On February 4, 2004, a Harvard Sophomore Named Mark Zuckerberg Launches the Facebook, a Social Media Website He Had Built in Order to Connect Harvard Students with One Another.

Facebook Brand Values

In the initial days of social media networking, MySpace was a major lead generator. The entry of Facebook led to the decline of MySpace and subsequently became a social media leader.

By 2009, Facebook surpassed approximately 950 million users, out of which 145 million were from the US alone. With time, Facebook developed various marketing tools to improvise businesses and control the market growth of small-scale and medium-scale brands. 

The users of Facebook Marketing:

Companies use the Facebook platform to cater to customers with a dynamic marketplace orientation. The key benefit of using Facebook as a platform is the user base which exceeds 2 billion users in the present day. Facebook marketing is used by:

1. Brands: Brands from small-scale to large-scale operations can use marketing tools and Facebook platforms to expand their business and venture out their products.

2. NGOs: Donation campaigns and other charity events can be initiated using the Facebook platform and gain a significant positive response.

3. Celebrities: Popular figures and celebrities use this platform as an advertising and promotional tool to increase their reach to the audience and gain popularity in their respective fields.

Statistics:

Facebook has an operating income of USD 24 billion as of 2019 data. Facebook Inc. generated a whopping USD 71 billion in revenue by the end of 2019.

It has also led to the generation of jobs, and around 45,000 employees work under their umbrella. Facebook witnessed a 2150% growth in revenue in 2004, and the trend continued.

From the stock market aspect, the company has declared itself as a public entity, and its inclusion in NASDAQ (American Stock Exchange) attracted more investments from other companies. 

Alexa has ranked Facebook at 4th position in the global internet engagement section. The most important feature of this social media giant is it is a Fortune 100 company, and currently, it holds a rank of 57.

It is clear from the statistics that Facebook Inc. has developed itself into a multi-billion dollar brand and is a perfect place for the others company to establish their base.

Facebook Brand Strategies

Facebook has developed innovative brand marketing and advertising strategies in recent years. In 2012, Facebook acquired the popular photo-sharing app Instagram for USD 1 billion.

It acquired the most popular messaging app Whatsapp in 2014 for USD 19 billion. These investments opened new portals for Facebook in brand advertising and immensely added to its brand value. Whatsapp had more than 1 billion users during the merge.

Facebook videos- A clickbait to ultimate brand popularity  

Facebook allows companies to use its video-sharing facility to promote themselves by posting videos and clips. Video is one of the most monetizable forms of content on Facebook.

Using colors, themes, and imagery that evoke your brand at the start of your video can help people connect the video and your brand quickly, as 500 million users watch videos daily.

There are services such as Pages, In-Stream ads, CrowdTangle, Branded Content, Creator studio, and Facebook Creator app to help other brands to prosper on the social media platform.

Facebook and Instagram plugin integration with your blog and website can contribute to brand awareness and increase followers on both platforms.

The addition of the URL to a brand’s Facebook account in the email format can open up a portal for new connections. Customers can connect and contact using the Facebook URL provided in the email that an individual representing the brand has sent to its clients.

LiveRail is a video monetization platform acquired by Facebook in 2014. LiveRail provides users with information and technology related to video advertising to target audiences over the internet.

Facebook and the VR

Facebook has invested in the VR (Virtual reality) and gaming industry by acquiring Oculus VR in 2014. Oculus VR is one of the emerging leaders in VR, and Facebook has developed a new brand promotion strategy by merging and acquiring such brands.

Collaboration with countries and major organizations

Facebook has evolved as a brand and as a leader of global brands; it has included itself in a crucial segment which is disaster response. India was the first to collaborate with Facebook on a disaster response initiative.

Facebook provided day-to-day information about the natural disaster which struck the country after the partnership and helped users know about the real-time conditions. Initial partners included WHO, World Bank, and Red Cross. Within a short period, Facebook’s partnership tripled across the globe.

Facebook has invested in sustainability and green energy by building data centers that run on clean and green energy. The data centers are contracted for 100% renewable energy, which created a positive impression in terms of energy conservation and protection of the environment.

Other brands have started following this, and Facebook’s brand value is eminent in such a scenario.

  • Facebook on Thursday Announced that It Is Opening up Horizon Worlds, Its Virtual Reality World of Avatars, to Anyone 18 and Older in The U.S. and Canada.

Conclusion

Facebook is an inspiration for several startups and small brands to start from zero and gradually prosper in the global market. It has opened up several portals on the internet and revolutionized the way people use social media. Brands go after Facebook’s business model to engage audiences and build their brand name on the local and global front.

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