I’ve been on Facebook since 2004, way back when the social network was exclusively limited to those with .edu email addresses. Back in those days, fellow old-timers might remember that using Facebook was markedly different from it is today. Back then, it was possible for users to delete the entirety of a friend’s wall. Back then, many of the Facebook features that we now take for granted were incredibly exciting and new, such as being able to tag friends in photos and creating groups. Of course, way back in 2004, photo albums weren’t even yet an option. And to think, people somehow lived this way!

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When Facebook burst onto the scene and began rolling out to college campuses across the country, it was hardly the first or only social network around. Nonetheless, it became readily apparent for anyone who hopped onto the site in the mid-2000s that Facebook stood out from a field that consisted of sites with clunky UIs (I’m looking at you, Friendster). Nonetheless, it’s never been easy, or even possible, to predict with 100% certainty which sites or services will take off and stick around for the long haul and which sites will emerge quickly and fade into obscurity just as fast. For every Instagram, there are many more Peaches.

As a result, it’s always interesting to go back in time and take a look at how people first took to sites that have since gone on to become exceedingly popular on a global scale. That said, Digg recently took a deep and interesting dive into the early days of Facebook and compiled a number of early reviews and first-takes that surfaced once the social network began to make headlines early on.

Below are a few of the more interesting takes on the social network back when Facebook was called Thefacebook. Ah, those were the days.

Wired – June 2004

On Thefacebook, poking is a way of saying “hi” to would-be contacts, a method to strike up a conversation without adding the person as a friend.

Thefacebook is modeled after schools’ traditional facebooks — booklets with names, photos, interests and other information about students. The site started in February and is expanding rapidly. Engineered and initially intended just for students at Harvard University, Thefacebook’s creators — all five of them Harvard students — hope to have their site available to about 200 American colleges by fall.

By registering on Thefacebook, students can compile lists of friends, send messages, list their classes and summer vacation plans, and divulge as much — or as little — personal contact information as they like.

Mark Zuckerberg, a 20-year-old Harvard student, came up with the idea in January

The Crimson – February 2004

“Everyone’s been talking a lot about a universal face book within Harvard,” Zuckerberg said. “I think it’s kind of silly that it would take the University a couple of years to get around to it. I can do it better than they can, and I can do it in a week.”

As of yesterday afternoon, Zuckerberg said over 650 students had registered use thefacebook.com. He said that he anticipated that 900 students would have joined the site by this morning.

“I’m pretty happy with the amount of people that have been to it so far,” he said. “The nature of the site is that each user’s experience improves if they can get their friends to join it.”

But Director of Residential Computing Kevin S. Davis ’98 said that the creation of a Harvard facebook was not as far off as Zuckerberg predicted.

“There is a project internally with computer services to create a facebook,” Davis said. “We’ve been in touch with the Undergraduate Council, and this is a very high priority for the College. We have every intention of completing the facebook by the end of the spring semester.”

Make sure to hit the source link below for even more trips down Facebook memory lane.

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