It’s undeniable that Facebook is easily one of the most influencial and trailblazing social media apps of all time. It paved the ways for other websites and apps such as Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp and Snapchat.
15 years ago today, the social media website launched and changed society forever with a new way to connect with new friends and old, while allowing us to give details on every aspect of our lives.
To celebrate this milestone birthday (and to help make us feel extremely old), here are our own 15 memories and trends of the early Facebook years we can’t forget about.
1. The Facebook Guy
Before the redesign in 2007 that’s almost identical to the one we have now, a man’s face obscured with binary code appeared at the top-left of Facebook’s header. At the time no one knew who it was, but it turns out the image was manipulated from a 1987 photo of Peter Wolf, lead vocalist for the J. Geils Band.
2. Virtual Gifts
Back in the day before there were emojis or emoticons, you could send virtual gifts to people on their walls through Facebook Credits. Starting in 2007, you could actually spend money on Facebook to send people cash.
3. Candy Crush
While Candy Crush is still arguably one of the most addicting games to play, it mainly became popular through Facebook. Everyone would beg for coins, send invites and would make full statuses about how addicted and in love with the game they are.
4. Making a Status to Commemorate Everything
While a lot of older users still do this, but it was annoyingly common back in 2007-2009. People would make a status about everything that went on during their day from an inconvenience at a public washroom to when they were going to bed. It was painfully annoying but everyone did it.
5. Chain Messages
We probably annoyed the hell out of older relatives for constantly spamming the inboxes, but chain messages were no joke. We feared the repercussion for not passing it along even if we realistically knew nothing would happen.
6. Poke Wars
While Facebook never officially explained why we could “poke” people, we assumed it was to earn attention or annoy people. It might not be common now, but we can still poke people. Maybe this will make a comeback soon?
7. Breast Cancer Awareness Month Girls Only Status
Do you remember how at the beginning of every October a few of your girlfriends would send you a copy and pasted chain mail saying to put something bizzarre as your status to bring attention to breast cancer awareness? It could be the colour of your bra or something like ‘yellow, purple, green, white, blue, gray, pink, black and red. Now that I have your attention..’ It was odd, but we all did it to save the boobies!
8. Making Albums For Everything
Because it was the first website of its kind where you could share whatever you wanted, we really took oversharing to a new level by creating photo albums for every occasion. While they may be nice to look back on now, why would we share every Saturday night out?
This game easily took over early Facebook users feeds and invite boxes. How many invites could we receive in a day? Though I will admit that this addictive game, it did help raise awareness for the importance of agriculture.
10. The Honesty Box
When you really wanted to know what your friends thought about you, you would use the controversial Honest Box. It allowed you to ask questions and your friends could anonymously respond. It was launched in 2007 but got shut down quickly after a lot of cyber bullying occurred as a result.
11. “About Me” Notes
To celebrate the launch of the Notes feature in 2009, Facebook sent around a chain-like message to all users prompting them to create a Note for the profile with ’25 Things About Me’, encouraging users to use the feature and spread the mail to their friends. We all had one on our profiles.
12. Overly Edited Pictures
Why we had to edit all of our photos on websites like Picnic to add grainy images, cringy quotes in coloured fonts and wacky borders, but we had to. It was just what we as users did.
13. Liking Too Many Pages
Liking a ton of pages was considered to be a huge trend simply because it gave your friends insight into what or who you were interested in, and you earned a lot of new material on your newsfeeds. We might reflect on the names of the pages we spam-liked, but now they actually provide us some hilarious memes, so technically we were way ahead of that trend in 2010.
14. Profiles With Hyperlinks
Before Pages were created in 2010, most people would edit and update the content in their favorite lists. As a result our profiles were lit in blue links that would connect your friends to other people who shared the same interests.
15. The Satisfaction of Creeping
One of the best things to come from Facebook is how accessible it is to get information depending on someone’s privacy settings. If your looking to get some dirt on someone you don’t like, you’d always (and still do) check Facebook to see what they’re up to. Same with when you want to catch up with someone from the past. It’s come in handy for many years and I don’t think that’ll ever change.
It’s crazy to think how much our profiles have changes or how much we’ve actually forgotten about the early years of Facebook. It highhandedly changed the internet and scoped a lot of how we view how much we share of our personal lives. It’s one of our favourite websites we love to hate but will always have a special place in our hearts.