When Facebook started 10 years ago today, Alan J. Tabak and The Harvard Crimson were there.
Tabak, then a staff writer at Harvard’s college paper, first chronicled Mark Zuckerberg’s “new Facebook website” five days after its launch. At the time, only 650 students had joined. But Zuck was already showing off his characteristic over-confidence:
When Mark E. Zuckerberg ’06 grew impatient with the creation of an official universal Harvard facebook, he decided to take matters into his own hands.
After about a week of coding, Zuckerberg launched thefacebook.com last Wednesday afternoon. The website combines elements of a standard House face book with extensive profile features that allow students to search for others in their courses, social organizations and Houses.
“Everyone’s been talking a lot about a universal face book within Harvard,” Zuckerberg said. “I think it’s kind of silly that it would take the University a couple of years to get around to it. I can do it better than they can, and I can do it in a week.”
The story goes on to discuss Facebook’s copyright and privacy protections — ironic, since those issues have continued to shadow Facebook’s success over the past decade. Zuckerberg characterizes the early site’s privacy controls as “pretty intensive … people have very good control over who can see their information.”
The Crimson also ran a 10-year retrospective today that looks back at the company’s early start in Harvard’s Kirkland House dorm, complete with baby-faced pictures of the now world-famous billionaire.
“It was strange how you could lose so much time on this site,” one early user told the paper. Some things, it seems, still haven’t changed.