There are numerous social media sites that come with varying graphics user inter-phases. These social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Hulu. Facebook is one of the most popular ones. It was developed and launched in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg. The social media began to sprout in education setting: it was invented in Harvard before spreading to Boston University and other universities in the United States. After August 2005, high school students began subscribing to Facebook; subsequently, universities from the United Kingdom followed the trend. Afterward, professionals and other interested parties joined Facebook. In its mission statement, Facebook intends to connect the world through the internet (Philips, 2014).
History of Design
The developer of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg was a passionate programmer and psychologist student. Before designing the site, he designed Facemash and Coursematch. Facemash was a social site where people rated the attractiveness of their friends while Coursematch provided linkage to people studying the same course. The initial design of Facebook was based on the profiles of freshmen at Harvard. At the inauguration, the freshmen filled their profiles on paper together with those of staff. Later, other undergraduate students provided their profiles. Zuckerberg coded the framework within which this information formed the basis of Facebook. In a statement at the initial public offer, Zuckerberg notes that the initial Facebook design was meant for a social mission. The current design, which has transferred to a company, is about building a great thing and making money as well. Therefore, the company makes money by connecting people through the internet (Philips, 2014).
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Facebook was created in February 2004 and exists nowadays. The domain address www.Facebook.com was bought in 2005 at a fee of $200,000. Facebook became a public listed company in 2012 after the Initial Public Offer (IPO) in the Nasdaq stock market. The 10-year-old company has developed from a simple college website into a global internet company worth over 100 billion. There have been various changes in the design of Facebook in the last 10 years as discussed below (O’Brien, 2012).
In 2005, Facebook dropped the tag ‘the’ from its original name ‘The Facebook’ to become Facebook. This aimed at making the domain name easy to remember. Within the same year, Facebook allowed high school users to join the website and provided the option of photo sharing.
In 2006, the company added new feeds to the social media site. This was an addition to Facebook that looked like a directory. At that time, Facebook was not about communication but listing people who share somehow related ideas and practices. This was the reflection presented and likely known by the user before the new feeds took effect. There was status pop up boxes in 2006. Users had to click on a person’s profile to view the status update. Finally, in the last design of 2006, the share button was introduced allowing users to share 3rd party details improving the news capability of the site.
In 2008, Facebook introduced an iPhone app that allowed iPhone users to easily access the website. The same year saw the introduction of Facebook chat that eased messaging communication. There was also a complete redesign of the website. The profiles were synchronized into two columns.
In 2009, Facebook added the like icon that allowed people to like comments. At the same time, people could have their own personal mini-feeds. The design was again re-engineered such that new feeds appeared in a chronological order. The new feeds actually moved in real time as events got added. Three column tabs were also introduced, which eased navigation. This was an addition to features that had been initially removed in the previous designs.
In 2010, Facebook removed the tab from its graphic user interphase. These changes returned to the design of 2009. In 2011, the Timeline was introduced on the top of the personal profiles. It overshadowed personal profiles giving a bold presentation of a user. Later, the odious Ticker was introduced. The design was introduced on the right side with feeds and chat at the bottom of the column.
In 2013, Facebook redesigned its page in a single column that was easier to navigate for users. The functionalities of the Timeline were also improved. In 2014, the company introduced trending feeds to reflect the changes visible on Twitter regarding the most followed ideas or events (Knibbs, 2014; Feinberg, 2014).
The current audience of Facebook remains virtually the same composed of students, professionals, celebrities, and corporate investors and billionaires. Facebook has over 1.2 billion users who participate in the status update, news feeds, messaging, and video sharing. 89% of people of 18-29 years old and 82% of people aged 30 – 49 years are using social media. The numbers for people aged 50-64 and older stood at 65 and 49 percent respectively. Equally, high school students, college, and out of college persons use social media platforms at 72%, 78%, and 73% respectively. Averagely, the number of adults using the Facebook site stands at 71% of internet users (Pew Research Center, 2014).
The default Facebook theme is blue for the top raw that acts as the menu. The column for tabs, posts, news feeds, and chat remain white. Default language color is back. The chat header is also blue. The use of the blue color is a reflection of peace and harmony in psychology (Shannon, 2014). However, Facebook allows customization of the theme into colors best fitting the intentions of the users such as black, grey, pink, and so forth.
The Facebook user inter-phase is composed of the status update, news feeds, messages, chat, and video sharing. In the left column, there are a series of tabs, pages, and groups of users. It is followed by a column section representing news feed, personal posts, and posts by other people. The third column to the left provides personal page, group creations, and suggestions that the user might like. The last column to the left has new feeds and friends available for chat.
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The dimensions that can exist on the Facebook walls differ depending on the functionality. The word limit for a post is about 60,000 characters. The maximum image size for Facebook adverts or personal profiles is 1200x675px and can come with any color. There can, however, be various fluctuations. The size chosen for an advert depends on the investment the business is willing to make.
Facebook has remained a leading social media site even though users have complained of boycotts and quitting due to the numerous design changes. Allegations such as privacy infringement and manipulation of information are quite popular. However, the blue color Facebook bears remains a real reflection since its inception. Additional functionalities have been added expanding the original idea of finding people with similar backgrounds. The design functionalities include posts, news feeds, chat, timeline, sharing and suggestions posts, videos, and pictures. The design has, therefore, become more crowded than ever.
- Feinberg, A. (2014). The most important Facebook redesigns in its 10-year history.
- Knibbs, K. (2014). How Facebook’s design changed in last 10 years.
- O’Brien, Terrance. (2012). Zuckerberg outlines idealistic Facebook mission in IPO filing.
- Pew Research Center. (2014). Social networking fact sheet.
- Philips, Saran. (2007). A brief history of Facebook.
- Shannon, Tyler. (2014). Facebook ad specifications and dimension.