In an open letter celebrating Facebook’s 10th anniversary, founder Mark Zuckerberg explains why he and his college friends were the ones to invent the most popular social network in the world.
“We were just students. We had way fewer resources than big companies. If they had focused on this problem, they could have done it,” wrote Zuck. “The only answer I can think of is: we just cared more.”
Ten years later, it seems to have paid off. The social network powers the digital connections of more than 1 billion users, many of whom have been on the network for years. That’s a pretty big deal — after all, how many commitments in your life have lasted multiple years? A rare few, I’m sure.
To reminisce together, Facebook has released a tool that lets you take “A Look Back” at your time on Facebook. It compiles a slideshow of photos and videos from your profile and pairs them with uplifting music. It’s not perfect — half of my pics were of/with people I don’t care about — but it’s cute.
If you want to take “a look back” at your own Facebook history, just click here.
And here is Zuck’s open letter:
Today is Facebook’s 10th anniversary.
It’s been an amazing journey so far, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it. It’s rare to be able to touch so many people’s lives, and I try to remind myself to make the most of every day and have the biggest impact I can.
People often ask if I always knew that Facebook would become what it is today. No way.
I remember getting pizza with my friends one night in college shortly after opening Facebook. I told them I was excited to help connect our school community, but one day someone needed to connect the whole world.
I always thought this was important — giving people the power to share and stay connected, empowering people to build their own communities themselves.
When I reflect on the last 10 years, one question I ask myself is: why were we the ones to build this? We were just students. We had way fewer resources than big companies. If they had focused on this problem, they could have done it.
The only answer I can think of is: we just cared more.
While some doubted that connecting the world was actually important, we were building. While others doubted that this would be sustainable, you were forming lasting connections.
We just cared more about connecting the world than anyone else. And we still do today.
That’s why I’m even more excited about the next ten years than the last. The first ten years were about bootstrapping this network. Now we have the resources to help people across the world solve even bigger and more important problems.
Today, only one-third of the world’s population has access to the internet. In the next decade, we have the opportunity and the responsibility to connect the other two-thirds.
Today, social networks are mostly about sharing moments. In the next decade, they’ll also help you answer questions and solve complex problems.
Today, we have only a few ways to share our experiences. In the next decade, technology will enable us to create many more ways to capture and communicate new kinds of experiences.
It’s been amazing to see how all of you have used our tools to build a real community. You’ve shared the happy moments and the painful ones. You’ve started new families, and kept spread out families connected. You’ve created new services and built small businesses. You’ve helped each other in so many ways.
I’m so grateful to be able to help build these tools for you. I feel a deep responsibility to make the most of my time here and serve you the best I can.
Thank you for letting me be a part of this journey.
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