Facebook looked completely different 12 years ago -- here's what's changed over the years

Happy 12th birthday, Facebook!

As you’d expect, the site looks completely different now compared when it first launched on February 4, 2004.

But in case you haven’t been a loyal user since the beginning, we’ll give you a little tour of how the site evolved.

Check it out:

(Former Business Insider reporter Megan Rose Dickey also contributed to this piece.)

Remember when Facebook was called Thefacebook? It started at Harvard and slowly opened up to other colleges.

Mark Zuckerberg originally described himself as not only the founder of Facebook, but also as the 'Master and Commander' and 'Enemy of the State.'

The Way Back Machine

We love this gem about 'poking' from one of the original FAQ pages.


Here's what a Facebook group page looked like in 2005.


For comparison, this is what a Facebook group page looks like today.


Back in 2005, before the News Feed launched, Facebook was essentially just a collection of disconnected profiles.

The company decided to drop the 'the' from its name in 2005, after it bought the domain Facebook.com for $200,000.

Check out Mark Zuckerberg's profile in 2006.

Facebook launched the News Feed to display all your friends' activity in a single timeline in 2006.

At the same time, Facebook introduced the Mini-Feed. But the entire concept of a News Feed resulted in some very public outrage. Some users even went so far to call one of Facebook's product managers the devil.

Wikimedia Commons

In 2009, Facebook's home page got a facelift. Posts started to stream through the News Feed in real-time.


Facebook rolled out a new, more visual profile in 2010. It added a row of recently tagged images below your name and basic profile information.

Facebook launched the News Ticker in 2011 so users could keep up with their friends while browsing through other parts of Facebook.

The Facebook Timeline feels like it's been around since the beginning. But it launched in 2011 to act as a virtual timeline of your entire life.

Facebook started flooding the News Feed with sponsored stories in January 2012.


Here's what Facebook's News Feed looks like today.


This is what Facebook's mobile app looked like when it first launched.


It has been completely redesigned.


Facebook also split its instant messaging into a different app called Messenger in 2011. It's now got more than 800 million monthly users.


Facebook also owns a bunch of other popular apps, most notably Instagram, which the company bought for $1 billion in 2012. With more than 400 million monthly users, that seems like a steal nowadays.

Max Slater-Robins / BI

Today, more than 1.5 billion people use the social network every single month.


And more than 1.4 billion people use it on their mobile phones every month. Not bad, considering 12 years ago smartphones didn't even exist.


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