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Teachify Case Studies - Facebook

Hello there!

Welcome to Teachify Case Studies a new blog series where we take a look at successful companies and how their business works. This series is ideal for those of you with an advanced level of English looking to learn some more professional vocabulary! Today we will be taking a look at Facebook.

About Facebook

Facebook is a company that needs no introduction. It was named the 6th most valuable brand in the world in 2019 with 2.6 billion monthly active users! Currently Facebook makes a whopping $17.4 billion from advertising revenue!

Facebook has remained a controversial company throughout its inception. The success of Facebook has sparked conversations about user privacy, the influence of social media on politics along with the effects that Facebook has on users who suffer from mental illnesses. Regardless of your stance on these issues, you cannot deny that Facebook has built an incredibly successful business model.

The social media giant was formed by Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg. Originally Zuckerberg had created a website called Face Mash, a website where Harvard students could rate their classmates by attractiveness. After receiving a lot of attention from fellow Harvard students, the university shut the website down stating it violated privacy rules.

 

Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg expanded on his initial idea by creating The Facebook in 2004, a digitized version of the University of Harvard’s student directory. Originally, only Harvard students could create a Facebook account, however due to the popularity of the site, Facebook spread its operations to Columbia, Stanford and Yale universities before gradually becoming available in universities across the USA.

In June the same year the company had received its first investment from Pay Pal cofounder Peter Thiel. The Facebook dropped the ‘the’ from its title in 2005 and became Facebook. By May Facebook opened up to high schools along with several companies including Apple and Microsoft before becoming available to anyone over the age of 13 in 2006.

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Companies began to see the potential for Facebook as a source of advertisement. In 2007 there were over 100,000 pages that companies were using to promote themselves. Facebook continued to grow with Microsoft purchasing a 1.6% share in the company for $240 million in 2007. In 2009 Facebook was ranked the most used Social media platform in the world.

Facebook began to find itself the subject of criticism in 2015 for a rise in the amount of fake news and misleading information which could be found on the site. It has been suggested that the sharing of fake news on Facebook heavily influenced the 2016 Referendum to leave the EU in the UK along with US presidential election.

Since the 2016 US presidential election Facebook has announced several measures to help users fact check sources, however many feel that the social media platform has not done enough to combat the spread of misleading information. For example, Facebook’s decision to include far right news agency Breitbart news as a ‘trusted source’ has been criticized by many.

The 2018 Cambridge Analytica Scandal revealed that millions of Facebook users’ data had been harvested since 2013. The information harvested from these profiles had been used to benefit Donald Trump’s 2016 Presidential Campaign.

Despite these controversies and a slight drop off in its user base, Facebook remains an incredibly popular social media platform. Facebook’s 2012 acquisition of Instagram and 2014 acquisition of Whatsapp ensures that the social media giant is just as relevant as ever. Who knows what the future holds for Facebook, many have predicted a decline for the social media platform, however for now it seems that Facebook isn’t going anywhere.

Useful Vocabulary

Brand – A product

Whopping – Large or very big

Revenue – Income

To Spark – to inspire or begin

Stance – Position

Harvested – Collected

Share: A part of  a company

How well did you understand the text?

How Many active users did Facebook have in 2019?

 

How much does Facebook make from advertising revenue? 

 

What was the original name of Facebook? 

 

Which University did Mark Zuckerberg study at?

 

Who was the first investor in Facebook?

 

What was the Cambridge Analytica Scandal?

 

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