Facebook turns 12 today, and the social network is commemorating the event with a custom video for millions of users chronicling our rich history of spending a lot of time on Facebook. The occasion, which the company is calling "Friends Day," is meant to celebrate real-life friendships through photos and life events. However, it's also a not-so-subtle way for Facebook to promote its explosive growth over the last half-decade.
Since 2011, the company more than doubled its number of monthly users to 1.59 billion people — all of whom helped the company post record profits in 2015. Facebook says that in the same time period, the degree of separation between a pair of Facebook users has decreased from 3.74 degrees to 3.57, an example of "how closely connected the world has become."
Over the course of today, users should see their own Friends Day video popping up on the top of the News Feed. You can also view your own by clicking "watch yours" at the bottom of a friends' video. “That’s what the best movements do. You find ways to keep it focused on the needs of the community, and it’s not about you," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement. "And that’s the whole point of Friends Day. We felt like the world was making it too much about us and it’s not about us.”
"We felt like the world was making it too much about us."
Facebook is also releasing a series of new sticker packs today, including ones labeled "Friendship" and "Best Friends" featuring a hodgepodge of popular animated characters. Stickers are Facebook's version of anthropomorphic animal emoticons featuring characters like Beast, named after and based on Zuckerberg's own Hungarian sheep dog, and Pusheen the Cat from the animated webcomic of the same name. You can check out the new collection at Facebook's Sticker Store.