How Mark Zuckerberg has returned Facebook to its most raw origins through new Groups feature

by Knowlton Thomas | Culture

the facebookSince its inception in February of 2004, Facebook has grown from an exclusive Harvard club, to a many-universities club, to a worldwide social network with arms extending to even the farthest reaches of this planet.

It's grown, in essence, from a tree-house Boy's Club into one of the world's largest countries (counting active registered users as population, Facebook would be the third largest). That's a lot of growth for half a decade. It's also completely altered the social landscape of Facebook.

"The Facebook," as it was originally called, was founded on the exclusivity of only being accessible by Harvard students. Eventually it connected to other prestigious universities, growing but maintaining that original sense of "I'm in a special club."

That's gone now, though: Where it used to be "cool" to be a part of Facebook, it's now just standard. If you don't have it, you may be considered uncool, but being a member on Facebook carries none of the prestige it once did.

Not that Facebook needs such a concept to remain relevant anymore, but nonetheless Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has resurrected the notion through its new Groups.

Perhaps coincidentally, perhaps for nostalgia, or perhaps truly to bring back the raw origins of the social network, new Groups act as exclusive gated communities within the massive country of Facebook. "Oh, you're not a part of that group? Gues you're not cool enough." It's a very university-type pretentious system, but it works.

When I watched the live video of Mark and his team saying how excited they were about these Groups, I didn't quite share the enthusiasm. What was the big deal? Now I get it: Facebook returns to its roots with a social context where the site can make you cool again.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. Millions of people use Facebook everyday to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet. more

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes and author of Tempest Bound. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys hiking, tennis, and martial arts. more

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