Then and Now: How the World Has Changed Since Facebook Was Born 10 Years Ago

The social media site's evolution comes amid a decade of tech advances.

ByABC News
February 4, 2014, 4:50 PM

Feb. 4, 2014— -- intro: The Facebook you see now is almost unrecognizable compared to the version that debuted ten years ago today. Even the name is different. The social network was officially called "The Facebook" until 2005.

Facebook started as a digital playground for Harvard students and transformed into a tech behemoth, now boasting more than 1.2 billion users. And as Facebook has changed over the past decade, so has the whole tech ecosystem surrounding it. As the social network celebrates its tenth birthday, here's a look back at 10 other things that have changed since 2004.

quicklist: 1title: Google text:Then: Google was strictly known as a search engine. Gmail had started its first year as an email service (still in beta) and Google Maps wouldn't be born until 2005. The company itself had its IPO on Aug. 19, 2004.

Now: What isn't Google doing these days? Between Google Glass and its fleet of robots, Google has become synonymous with the sci-fi future we dreamed about as kids.

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quicklist: 2title: Videos text:Then: Your DVD collection was still constantly growing and stores like Blockbuster were still alive and kicking. Internet videos were barely a force to be reckoned with.

Now: YouTube and Netflix Instant happened. Over 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, while TV shows born on Netflix (such as "House of Cards" and "Orange Is the New Black") have become some of the most critically praised in recent TV history. media:

quicklist: 3title: Cell Phonestext: Then: Nokia and Motorola phones were the two most popular brands worldwide. Motorola blazed the trail for thin phones with a clam shell form factor, while Nokia started releasing the first of its phones to have access to the Internet.

Now: Apple and Samsung have dominate the cell phone landscape, and accessing the Internet almost seems like a quaint feature with all the apps available to iOS and Android today. Nokia continues to make phones, though under Microsoft's banner, while Motorola was just sold off to Chinese computer manufacturer Lenovo.

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quicklist: 4title: The Popetext: Then: Pope John Paul II was still in the Vatican when Facebook was born. However, a little over a year later, on Apr. 2, 2005, he passed away in his apartment.

Now: Unlike his long-serving predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI stayed in office for a relatively short eight years, choosing to resign from the papacy in 2013. Enter Pope Francis, the first pope to hail from the Americas.


quicklist: 5title: Star Warstext:Then: George Lucas was in between writing and producing the new batch of Star Wars films. "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith," was released on May 15, 2005.

Now: The Star Wars torch has been handed off to J.J. Abrams, who recently completed the script to Episode VII. However, Lucas will continue to be involved with the movie, acting as the film's creative consultant.

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quicklist: 6title: Same Sex Marriagetext: Then: On May 16, 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same sex marriage. The state's Supreme Judicial Court cited the Massachusetts constitution, which "forbids the creation of second-class citizens."

Now: Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have legalized same sex marriage. Rhode Island, Delaware, Minnesota, New Jersey, Hawaii, Illinois and New Mexico are the most recent states to do so in the year 2013. media:

quicklist: 7title: Nintendotext: Then: Earlier in the year, Nintendo officially announced a new video game console at 2004's E3 conference. That system would later be released in 2006 as the Nintendo Wii.

Now: Nintendo's most recent console, the Wii U, has not been able to replicate the original Wii's success. The company is projecting only 2.8 million Wii U consoles will be sold this fiscal year, compared to the original 9 million it predicted. media: 22352771

quicklist: 8title: Gas Prices / Electric Carstext: Then:The average gas price for 2004 was $1.85 per gallon. Elon Musk made one of the first investments in Tesla Motors and later became chairman of its board of directors.

Now:Tesla's Model S car is named Motor Trend's car of 2013. Gas prices average around $3.50 per gallon, a slight drop in price from 2012. media:

quicklist: 9title: TV Housewivestext: Then: The hidden scandals of the suburbs are largely associated with the television show "Desperate Housewives." The ABC TV show debuted in the fall of 2004 and continued running for eight seasons until 2012.

Now: They may not be fictional, but they're definitely characters. Bravo TV's "The Real Housewives" is one of the channel's most popular series, with several different locations (Orange County, New York City and Atlanta, among others) having multiple seasons under their belts. media: 22350087

quicklist: 10title: Marstext: Then: Twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity landed on the surface of Mars in January 2004. Just two months later, Opportunity found both chemical and geological proof that Mars once held water.

Now: NASA stopped communicating with the Spirit rover in 2011. However, Opportunity is still in operation, alongside the more recently famous Mars rover, Curiosity.