Facebook Turns 15

Few can now imagine a life without it; many don’t know what life was like before it. If anything ever had such an enormous impact on popular culture and life in general then it surely must be Facebook. For all its faults it remains the go to channel for communication for an active user base of 2.27 billion people. To put that number into perspective, it is 30 percent of the planet’s population. Yes, nearly a third of all mankind share their lives with friends and family on this platform.

It has now been nearly two decades since a then 19-year-old Mark Zuckerberg conceived the social directory in his Harvard dormitory. He along with fellow students and roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes initially planned to only roll it out to Ivy League schools in the US. The popularity, however, was of such a nature that they simply had to branch it out firstly in their country and then to the rest of the world.

To ‘celebrate’ Facebook’s auspicious founding, we have compiled 15 fun facts on its 15th birthday. Some of these you may already know, but we tried to pluck out a few obscure titbits that you might not have known about. Have fun with it and be sure to like and share if your new-found information pokes your fancy.

  • There’s a reason why Facebook’s colour scheme is blue. Mark Zuckerberg suffers from red-green colour blindness.
  • The site’s now ubiquitous ‘Like’ button was originally the ‘Awesome’ button. This idea was vetoed by Zuckerberg in 2007 – they eventually settled for the ‘Like’ after that instead.
  • Despite it being the largest social media platform by a large margin, Facebook’s user base still grows by a whopping eight people per second.
  • The storage capacity of Facebook’s servers is something to marvel at. In total its user’s data takes up around 300 petabytes – that’s one million gigabytes of total data stored.
  • Facebook originally supported a peer-to-peer file sharing system. It was called Wirehog, but was discontinued in 2006 over copyright infringement fears.
  • Since 2015 Facebook has accounted for approximately a quarter of all online mobile advertising in the world.
  • Every minute of downtime Facebook experiences costs the company around R330 000. In August of 2014 a 19-minute long outage lost the company R5.7 million.
  • The platform truly lures the night owls. Post published between 22h00 and 23h00 typically receive 88 percent more interaction than posts published at other hours.
  • Videos are the most-shared content type on Facebook.
  • Revered actor, Al Pacino had his likeness as the original ‘face’ of the page. It was obscured by binary code, but some were quick to point out that it was him.
  • Australia has a notable gambling problem and it also seems as though they spend more time on Facebook than any other nation, clocking an average of seven hours a month.
  • The total global aggregate of time spent on Facebook is 8.3 billion hours per month. That’s 9.4 million years!
  • Over 50 percent of its active users visit the site every day – 70 percent of these users are located outside of the USA.
  • While the ‘poking’ feature is no longer available, users still aren’t clear what the origin of the term or the purpose of it was. No formal explanation was ever given and Zuckerberg simply stated that it was a fun thing for users to mess around with.
  • For a time it used to be a currency, a status even, but surprisingly the average Facebook user only has around 130 friends.


Robert is a descendant of the stout Macpherson Clan out of the Scottish Highlands and can claim Robert the Bruce as a far-off cousin. He suffers from a severe form of Collectors’ Disease and sports an assortment of small valuable curious. In his spare time he works a full-time job, but his real prowess lies within his musical aptitude as a drummer. He is a semi-amateur of the instrument and although he claims beating a drumhead one of the more primal sensations man can experience, he feels it to be an unnatural exercise to pursue. If he could have his way, he’d have breakfast every meal of the day and is a fan of all things Roald Dahl.