Facebook celebrates 12th birthday with ‘Friends Day’ videos, stickers and event

Cue the birthday song because Facebook turns 12 years old on Thursday.

But the social media company wants the milestone to be less about the tech firm and more about the friendships among its 1.59 billion users.  So Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared Thursday “Friends Day” and users will receive a personalized video highlighting moments with their friends that can be edited and shared. The company also released stickers for the special day, which include cartoon creatures hugging, playing and expressing joy.

“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. 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,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at a Friends Day event earlier this week at the company’s Menlo Park headquarters.

During the event, more than a dozen people from Saudi Arabia, Louisiana, Hungary, Oklahoma and other places along with a group called GirlCrew came to share their Facebook stories with Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg and others. The 31-year-old CEO also encouraged people on the social network to share their stories about friendship using #friendsday.

“One of the things that I really come out of my last year understanding is I am going to celebrate every birthday,” Sandberg said during the event. Her husband, former SurveyMonkey CEO Dave Goldberg, unexpectedly died in May of head trauma after collapsing at a gym while on vacation in Mexico. He was 47 years old.

The degrees of separation between a typical pair of Facebook users is 3.57 degrees, down from 3.74 degrees in 2011, according to the company.

Facebook said that millions of users will receive their personalized videos by mid-Thursday. People can view their video at the top of News Feed or by clicking “Watch Yours” below a friend’s Friends Day video. Here’s what the video looks like:

Created in a Harvard dorm room in 2004, Facebook now has more than 12,600 employees worldwide.

Photo Credit: (above) Mark Zuckerberg talks with guests at the Friends Day event in honor of Facebook’s 12th birthday at the company’s Menlo Park headquarters. Jennifer Leahy for Facebook. Video provided by Facebook.


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