If Myspace had been the only other player in the social media space in the early 2000s, Friendster might have found a way to manage, but there was another company waiting in the wings. In 2004, only about a year after Friendster launched, and only months after Myspace joined the fray, Facebook was launched.
Today, Facebook is one of the biggest companies on the planet and a recognizable name wherever you are in the world. But in 2004 it was a small operation run by four students at Harvard, one of whom was Mark Zuckerberg, you may have heard of him.
Facebook’s growth has been slower and more staggered than Friendster, but that’s largely because it was intentionally throttled, by design. Facebook – known at the time as Facebook – was initially only offered to Harvard students. Later, it was opened to other universities and high school students. In 2006, it opened up to anyone, anywhere in the world, over the age of 13 (for British).
Today, Facebook has spread all over the world, absolutely dominating the social media sphere, but in 2004, Friendster had nothing to worry about. It has retained a strong market share and little reason to worry about outside threats. Abrams and his team didn’t know there was a danger to the business and the call was coming from inside the house.