Facebook reached an epic milestone on Wednesday: For the first time ever, 1 billion people used its service in one day.
In a post published today on Facebook, naturally, Mark Zuckerberg announced the accomplishment.
“When we talk about our financials, we use average numbers, but this is different,” he wrote. “This was the first time we reached this milestone, and it’s just the beginning of connecting the whole world.”
It’s been fascinating to watch Facebook grow from 2004, when Zuckerberg first launched “The Facebook” at Harvard. In this interview from 2004 on CNBC, Zuckerberg describes the website he just launched:
Here’s how Zuckerberg first described Facebook, which posted $4 billion in revenue for the most recent quarter ending June 30:
“It’s an online directory that connects people through universities and colleges through their social networks there. You sign on, you make a profile about yourself by answering some questions, entering in some information, such as your concentration or major at school, your contact information about phone numbers, instant messaging screen-names — anything you want to tell, like interests, what the books you like, movies, and most importantly, who your friends are. Then you can browse around and see who people’s friends are, and just check out people’s online identities and see how people portray themselves and just find some interesting information about people.”
Zuckerberg told CNBC that he was hoping for 500 people to sign up when he first launched Facebook, but that number quickly swelled to more than 100,000.
“Who knows where we’re going next,” said Zuckerberg, then 20 years old. “We are hoping to have many more universities by this fall, hopefully over 100 or 200. From there, we are going to launch a bunch of side applications, which should keep people coming back to the site, and maybe we can make something cool.”
As far as the “connected world” Zuckerberg mentions in his post today, earlier this month Facebook offered an inside look into the development of its Wi-Fi enabling drones, part of the company’s plan to bring the Internet to the entire world.
And speaking of the “bunch of side applications” Zuckerberg referenced more than a decade ago, Facebook this week unveiled a new digital personal assistant it is developing inside its messaging platform, Messenger, called “M.” It’s one of many apps and services Facebook has rolled out since its nascent days as a simple online campus network — how far the company has come, indeed.