Happy birthday Facebook

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Facebook logoWhat would life be like without Facebook? There are millions of people who would gasp in horror at the thought of not being able to tell the world what they’re currently up to.

 

The social networking site, which celebrates its fifth birthday today, has infested the lives of so many online addicts – young and old (over 55 women are apparently the fastest growing demographic group on the site, according to InsideFacebook) – that it’s become the cultural backbone of a generation obsessed with sharing their every sneeze and splutter.

It only seems like yesterday that the Mark Zuckerberg-phenomenon took the worldwide web by storm. The site, originally designed for Harvard University students, marks a new age in instant communication – it’s even managed to eclipse the art of texting, which is still a relative baby in telecommunications.

Love it or hate it, Facebook has become an inspirational success, growing to 150 million users in just five years. Its popularity has spread through a combination of extremely clever PR and others piggy-backing on its powerful influence. HSBC scrapped plans in August 2007 to charge new graduates for going into their overdrafts. This followed the creation of a Facebook group called ‘stop the great HSBC rip-off’.

There seems to be no stopping the Facebook Express – half a decade on and it’s more popular than ever. Whether it’s letting people know that you’re ‘going to drink beer out of a teapot’; uploading holiday pictures; or using it as an easy marketing tool to chart the habits of a nation; the social networking site is like no other. Admittedly, everything has its day, but has Facebook spawned a generation that will always be obsessed by logging and following the lives of many?