Welcome to #ThrowbackThursday! Here’s where every week, we’ll reminisce on technologies past and get hyped for future innovations to come. Today’s subject? When we joined Facebook.
With Facebook announcing this week that they’ve hit 2 billion users, we wanted to take a look back at the beginnings of this hugely influential social network. Once just a small, college-only underdog to MySpace, Facebook has become a global force in a little over a decade. From ambiguous pokes to first profile pics, we share the Mojo team members’ early Facebook memories.
Angela Leavitt, Founder & Chief Mojo-Making Officer
I joined in early 2008. At the time, I didn’t understand why we needed Facebook when MySpace essentially served the same function. I also didn’t like the lack of creativity, since my MySpace page was completely decked out with sparkly stickers, a custom theme, and of course, music (most likely a Justin Timberlake playlist). Facebook seemed so “blah” to me, but I had some friends on it who eventually convinced me to join. It’s been a love/hate addiction ever since!
Juliana Kenny, Content Manager
I joined Facebook in the OG year of 2004 when it was just for people attending college. I joined because it seemed like a good way to see what my friends were up to who were all at different universities. You couldn’t do much on Facebook in 2004 other than friend people, write on their walls, and… “poke” strangers.
I actually deleted my account in 2005 because of some drama over a photo. (I thought: “If Facebook is causing real-life arguments, who needs it?!”) But reinstated my account in 2009 to stay in touch with friends who, having all graduated from college, were even more dispersed than they had been before.
Funny story: Around 2008, while my account was inactive, my best friend’s boyfriend created a fake one in my name and wrote on all my real friends’ walls in my voice. I thought my identity had been stolen, and tried to call the internet police, only to find out there is no such thing.
Justine Dolorfino-Thieman, Digital Strategist
I joined Facebook in the spring of 2005. Everyone in my graduating class was getting on Facebook using their email addresses from their new colleges, and I felt left out since my college didn’t give us our emails until September’s orientation. Waiting four months to join in on all the fun seemed super unfair, so I borrowed one of my friends’ second college email addresses and became a member of the Case Western Reserve University Facebook network. (I actually got my undergrad degree from Kalamazoo College.) I engaged in endless poke wars with high school friends, posted chain letter-esque things on people’s walls, met lots of random people from Case, and eventually switched to my ‘real’ network that fall.
I remember the outrage when they opened it up to everyone in 2006. Lots of people said they were going to quit Facebook once that happened, but I’m not sure if anyone actually did. That said, I did delete my original account once they announced the timeline feature in 2011, which allows users easy access to every post ever made on your wall by you or someone else. I was already using Facebook for work back then, so I decided it was just easier to start fresh with a new account rather than clean up everything.
Andrea McCarter, Project Coordinator
I joined Facebook in early 2009, I was hesitant to do so because it felt a lot less personal than MySpace. My friends kept tagging me in photos and I couldn’t view them unless I joined so I finally made a profile. Compared to a MySpace profile Facebook seemed very minimal, I missed having a “top 8”! But eventually I grew used to it. Although, getting tagged in photos and posts got me into a bit of trouble when I was younger. I would tell my family I was going one place and get tagged in another…oops! I figured out quickly how to update my privacy settings.
I was a relatively late adopter, joining in 2006. My early years of Facebook consisted of liberal use of the “poke” feature with the rare “status update”. I remember finding status updates awkward because they required you to essentially finish a statement starting with your name: Tom “is going skiing.” I really became a power user when I got an app that expanded on the poke feature, allowing you to “throw” animals or objects at people. Who knew that in just a few years it would become a near necessity for businesses to use Facebook as well?
What’s Your Throwback?
We want to hear about your Throwback technology! Leave a comment below to tell us all about your early Facebook memories!