By Hiwot Seyoum
On February 4, 2014, the social networking service Facebook marked its 10th anniversary. Initially created for Harvard students, the website has since become one of the most powerful forces on the Internet, with over one billion users. Facebook.com launched February 4, 2004 as something of a digital interactive yearbook for Harvard students after being developed by Mark Zuckerberg, one of the students there. On September 26, 2006, the social network opened up membership to anyone over the age of 13 with a valid e-mail address. By August 26, 2008, Facebook had reached 100 million subscribers.
On June 18, 2013, Facebook announced that it had one million active advertisers, companies or organisations that have advertised on the social network at least once in the last 28 days. In April 2013, it indicated that there were two billion connections between local businesses and people in the siteâ€™s social graph and,and that in an average week, local business pages get more than 645 million views and 13 million comments.
According to the sole telecom provider, the ethio telecom, internet subscribers reached 4.6 million by the end of 2013/14.which is 123pc targeted by the government in the Growth & Transformation Plan (the GDP). The number of licenses issued by the ethio telecom for internet cafes since the year 2010 has now reached 2,363.
There are 1.27 million users of facebook in Ethiopia with active accounts, 28 pc of these are women, according to the ethio telecom.
Abenet Getachew, 22, has been using Facebook for two years.
â€œIt is a platform that never lets me feel alone,â€ he says.
With 450 friends on the social media network, Abenet gets friend requests, messages and notifications on a regular basis.
At noon on Tuesday, February 18, 2014, Abenet was chatting with friends on his Facebookfrom the Adi Broadbank â€“ an Internet cafÃ© around the Lancia area on Serra Leone Street. He paid 10 Br for 40 minutes. Abenet uses Facebook three times a week on average.
Other users, like Tewodros Debele, 34, who was surfing the website to exchange information about current affairs, say they enjoy Facebook because of the availability of user anecdotes.
â€œI enjoy it because there are notes, as well as birthday reminders and marriage invitations via events,â€ Tewodros told Fortune. â€œIt is an all-in-one-place tool and a boredom-killing, social connector.â€
But the social media network has also been frequented by businesses, as they have realised its potential in promoting services and products.
Read more at: Addis Fortune