The Facebook IPO is great. Mark Zuckerberg and company have finally made it. But it wasn't by accident. Facebook has made some key updates as well as crucial business partners and acquisitions over the years that got them were they are today. Here you can follow Facebook's history in a timeline from SecondMarket. Here are some important dates to remember in Facebook history, including the key acquisitions that either helped Facebook develop or absorbed the competition.
April 5 - Facebook introduces chat
July 10 - Facebook IPhone app launched
February 9 - Facebook adds "Like" button
March 11 - Facebook Publisher Lauched
May 26 - Digital Sky Technologies invests $200 million - Facebook valued at 10 billion
June 1 - Facebook Payments launched
August 10 - Acquires Friend Feed
February 19 - Acquires Octazen
April 2 - Acquires Divvyshot
May 18 2010 - Facebook and Zynga enter 5 year contract
May 26 - Acquires ShareGrove
June 29 - Elevation Partners purchase $120 million in stock - valuation at 23 Billion
July 8 - Acquires Nextstop
July 28, 2010 - Facebook Questions Launched
August 18 - Facebook Places Introduced
August 23 - Acquires Hot Potato
October 6 - Facebook Groups Launched
October 29 - Acquires Drop.io
January 12 - Listen With introduced
January 21 - Goldman Sachs and Digital Sky Technologies invest $1.5 billion in Facebook - Company valued at 50 billion
January 25 - Acquires Rel8tion
April 27 - Acquires Dayturn
June 9 - Acquires Sofa
July 6th - Facebook introduces video chat in partnership with Skype
August 2 - Acquires Pop Press
September 22 - Facebook launches Timeline
October 10 - Acquires Friend.ly
November 16 - Acquires MailRank
December 2 - Acquires Gowalla
February 1 - Filed for IPO
April 9 - Acquires Instagram - the deal is yet to close
April 13 - Acquires Tagtile
May 5 - Acquires Glancee
May 15 - Acquires Lightbox
May 18 - IPO launches - Zuckerberg's personal wealth skyrockets
Follow the links for in-depth details about the acquisitions and how they affected Facebook as a service and a brand.
When Facebook sees a company they like, they are not shy to take action to acquire it. In the past two years, they have been making acquisitions left and right. Each time shelling out more and more money to make things happen. You may remember a little company called Instagram, acquired with $1 billion of what can now be considered pocket change to Facebook. Well, not pocket change, but they do have plenty to go around after today.
In an interview with The New York Times, the CEO of one of the companies the Facebook bought-up, talks about the frenzy surrounding a Facebook acquisition. “They are a fairly nimble company,” said Paul Buchheit, who sold his company, FriendFeed, to Facebook in 2009. “They don’t have a five-year plan for companies they want to buy. When they see a company that makes sense, they focus on getting things done quickly. I met with Mark on a Friday afternoon. By Sunday night, we’d signed papers and announced the deal on Monday.”
After this IPO we are likely to see a lot more acquisitions in the future. These acquisitions could be the key to understanding the future of the company. Although Facebook is always tight lipped about their future plans, the types of companies they buy often indicate the types of services they plan to change or update. After they bought advertising firm Rel8tion, they launched sponsored stories. After they bought the check-in service Hot Potato, they expanded Facebook Places. And so on...
After they announced they were buying Instagram, they also bought another photo sharing service called Lightbox. It will be interesting to see if they have something big in store once the Instagram acquisition is finalized.
For today's investors, acquisitions should be an important aspect to follow when tracking Facebook's growth.