It appeared in the Harvard Crimson on February 9, 2004, five days after Zuckerberg launched thefacebook.com from his dorm room. The headline says it all: “Hundreds Register for New Facebook Website.
” Nowadays, of course, hundreds of new users sign up for Facebook every minute.
But in those first few days, 650 signups across the university was a huge deal — and Zuck wasn’t shy when it came to crowing to the Crimson: “Everyone’s been talking a lot about a universal face book within Harvard,” Zuckerberg said.the same cocky punk who handed out business cards that read “I’m CEO, bitch.” Still, there’s one very humbling detail further down the article: Just as with the popular website Friendster, which Zuckerberg said was a model for his new website, members can search for people according to their interests and can create an online network of friends.
But a very clear pointer to the primacy of Friendster, the only widely-known social network at the time (save, perhaps, for the up-and-coming MySpace).
Some months after this article, it would begin a dizzying succession of CEOs that would hasten its decline (and eventual transformation into a Malaysia-based social gaming service). If only someone had alerted Friendster’s founder (and then CEO) Jonathan Abrams to this genius coder at Harvard who had created an homage to his site, the future of social media might have turned out very differently.
One week later, a second Harvard Crimson article on Zuckerberg revealed that the site had shot up to 4,300 users — or 55% of the student population.