Meta Platforms, Inc., is doing business as Meta. It was formerly named Facebook, Inc., and TheFacebook, Inc.
Meta is an American multinational technology conglomerate based in Menlo Park, California. The company owns Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, among other products and services. Meta is considered one of the Big Five American information technology companies, alongside Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft.
Meta's products and services include Facebook, Messenger, Facebook Watch, and Meta Portal. It has also acquired Oculus, Giphy, Mapillary, Kustomer, Presize and has a 9.99% stake in Jio Platforms. In 2021, the company generated 97.5% of its revenue from the sale of advertising.
In October 2021, the parent company of Facebook changed its name from Facebook, Inc., to Meta Platforms, Inc., to "reflect its focus on building the metaverse". According to Meta, the "metaverse" refers to the integrated environment that links all of the company's products and services.
2004: Co-Founders Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin launched Facebook. Its name came from the face book directories often given to American university students. Facebook's membership was initially limited to Harvard students,
In June, Facebook moved to Palo Alto, California. The Facebook wall was first launched in September of 2004 where people could post messages to their friends. By December, over 1 million members were active on Facebook.
2005: In September, TheFacebook.com officially dropped "the" to become Facebook. Facebook Photos feature was launched in October of this year.
2006: In April of 2006, Facebook launched Facebook For Mobile. The first version of Facebook API was introduced in August of this year. In September, News Feed was also launched. With this, Facebook also expanded its user registration to anyone above 13 years of age.
2007: Facebook's Platform launched happened in May 2007. In June, the company also launched the Facebook video feature. And in November, the self-service Ads platform and pages were launched.
2008: Facebook introduced Chat in the April of 2008, and announced its Connect feature in May. Facebook relaunched itself in July, enabling its accessibility for iPhone users.
2009: The iconic "Like" button was introduced in February of 2009. In the March of the same year, Facebook launched its new home page.
2010: By July of 2010, 500 million people were active on the platform. Facebook launched its "Places" feature in August of the same year. New Groups feature was introduced in October.
2011: Facebook opened its first custom-built data centre in Prineville, Oregon on April 15, 2011. The company introduced messenger in August and Timeline in September.
2012: One of its first major acquisitions was in April 2012, when it acquired Instagram for approximately US$1 billion in cash and stock. In May, the company held its Initial Public Offering. By October, more than one billion people were active on Facebook.
2013: Following the acquisition, the user base of Instagram, elevated to 100 million every month. Facebook added various features to app during this year including Video and Instagram Direct.
Facebook also announced the launch of Internet.org. It also launched the "Donate" feature in December.
2014: In February 2014, Facebook, Inc. announced it would buy mobile messaging company WhatsApp for US$19 billion in cash and stock. Connectivity Lab was also announced in March of the same year.
Later that year, Facebook bought Oculus VR for $2.3 billion in stock and cash, which released its first consumer virtual reality headset in 2016.
The "Safety Check" feature was also introduced in October 2014.
2015: Facebook launched the Messenger Platform at F8. This is enhanced with video calling feature.
In June, Facebook introduced the Oculus Rift and Instagram's Search and Explore feature.
Facebook's user base reached one billion per day in August 2015. By December, Facebook also introduced Facebook Live.
2016: Facebook launched Reactions globally in February.
WhatsApp announced end-to-end encryption in April of the same year. It also introduced its desktop app in May and Video Calling Feature in October.
Instagram's new icon and app design was introduced during May of the same year and Stories feature in August.
Facebook reported that more than 1 billion people use Messenger every month in July 2016. In it also introduced marketplace and workplace in October.
2017: Whatsapp launched Status feature in February, and Instagram introduced shopping in March.
The First Facebook Communities Summit took place in June where the company introduced its new mission. By this time, about 2 billion people used Facebook every month.
By next month of the same year, Whatsapp also reported about 1 billion user base daily.
Facebook introduced Facebook Watch in August. It also launched Facebook Community Boost Programme in November, and Facebook Kids in December.
2018: WhatsApp launched its Business App in January.
In May, Facebook released its First Community Standards Enforcement Reports.
By June, number of Instagram users every month were reported to be 1 billion. It also introduced Video Chat, a new explore, and new camera effects for stories.
In August, Facebook introduced new tools for users to manage their time on Facebook and Instagram.
In September, Oculus Quest was introduced at OC5. Portal and Portal+ were introduced in October. Messenger 4 was also launched in October.
2019: In March, Mark shared his vision for a privacy-focused social platform.
Instagram also introduced the Checkout feature. Oculus Rift S, a new PC VR headset, was introduced in March.
Facebook launched Facebook Pay in November.
2020: Facebook launched Facebook Room in April, and Facebook Shop in May.
By June, WhatsApp also launched its payments feature. In August, Instagram launched its Reels Feature. It introduced its new Messenger experience in September.
Oculus Quest 2, an all-in-one VR headset, was introduced in September.
2021: Facebook announced a $1 billion investment in creators in July, and introduced Horizon Workrooms in August.
In September, it launched Ray Ban Stories, and Portal Go and 14-inch Portal+. The XR programmes and research Fund were announced to help build the metaverse.
Facebook rebranded to Meta on October 28, 2021.
Facebook mission statement is: “to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” The statement focuses on its influential role to make a difference in the clients it serves. Due to the changing landscapes of the social networking business, Facebook has had to readjust and redefine its mission statement in the past. Through the changes, the company has revealed how critical leaving an impact on societies is as a reputation sustaining model.
After rebranding to Meta, its mission is: “Giving people the power to build community and bring the world closer together”.
Facebook vision statement is “People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.” Its focus is on the influence the company has in the social media sector. Particularly, the statement brings out the social building and dissemination of knowledge as critical factors that Facebook wants to be associated with.
The vision of the metaverse presented by Meta is one of an “interconnected 3D world that we experience for many hours a day, both for fun and for work primarily through VR."
Michel Protti (Chief Privacy Officer, Product)
Mark Zuckerberg (Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer)
Alex Schultz (Chief Marketing Officer and VP of Analytics)
Nick Clegg (President, Global Affairs)
Susan Li (Chief Financial Officer)
Javier Olivian (Chief Operating Officer)
Chris Cox (Chief Product Officer)
Andrew 'Boz' Bosworth (Chief Technology Officer)
David Wehner (Chief Strategy Officer)
Marne Levine (Chief Business Officer)
Maxime Williams (Chief Diversity Officer)
Jennifer Newstead (Chief Legal Officer)
Recognition and Awards
Mark Zuckerberg (Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer)
Sheryl Sandberg (Executive Director and COO)
Peggy Alford (Non-Executive Director, Executive Vice President, Global Sales, PayPal)
Drew Houston (Non-Executive Director, Chairman and CEO, Dropbox)
Marc Andreessen (Non-Executive Director, Co-Founder and General Partner, Andreessen Horowitz)
Robert M. Kimmitt (Non-Executive Director, Senior International Counsel, WilmerHale)
Peter Thiel (Non-Executive Director, Co-Founder and former CEO, PayPal, Founder and President, Clarium Capital)
Nancy Killefer (Non-Executive Director, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company)
Tracey Travis (Non-Executive Director, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Estée Lauder Companies)
Tony Xu (Non-Executive Director, Chairman and CEO, DoorDash)