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Facebook celebrates ten years of success

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Updated: 2/04 6:12 am
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- It's a number that may make some people feel a little old, but Facebook turned 10 years old on Monday and that has many people marveling over the social media site's persistence in a fast-changing world.

When it began a decade ago, Facebook was limited to college students. When the site opened to the public a few years later, it began attracting a younger crowd -- but now, it seems the users are trending in the other direction.

"It used to just be the teenagers and the college kids back in the day," Tyler Olson, with SMC Pros, told Fox 9 News. "Now today, we see almost an even distribution of users on Facebook -- all the way up to 65-70 years old."

In fact, the number of new Facebook users over the age of 55 was up 80 percent last year. At 59, Andy Walters has been on Facebook for the past four years.

"I just reconnected with a girl that I was in high school with," Walters told Fox 9 News. "We hadn't talked to each other or seen each other in 40 years."

In February 2009 -- just 6 months after reaching 100 million users, Facebook introduced the like button. Today, the social media giant can boast more than 1.2 billion users globally.

"We're talking about 50 percent of the world's population with access to the Internet," Olson explained.

The average user is 41 years old with 228 friends, and it's estimated that most people spend at least 8 hours a month posting pictures and comments to the site. Six out of 10 users check the site every day.

"I joined Facebook to stay in contact with all my relatives that are located all around the country," Jami Kernan said. "It's been awesome."

Kernan said her children got her on Facebook, but they're all now friends with her 95-year-old aunt from North Dakota.

While Facebook may be the first social network, Mark Zuckerberg became a very rich man when the company went public in May of 2012. With that kind of cash in play, it's almost certain that someone with a rival idea will try to get a piece of the pie at some point.

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