Take a look at Facebook's first-ever ad sales pitch deck: 'What is thefacebook.com?'
This is the sales pitch deck, and some of Facebook's internal documents - including early spreadsheets of user data - used by Josh Iverson from October 2004. Iverson was employed by ad sales agency Y2M, and he made deals to put the first big brands on Facebook, including MasterCard, Paramount, Ford, The North Face, and (surprisingly) Apple. We believe it is Facebook's first ever ad sales deck.It shows how few people were on Facebook at the time - some universities had only dozens of users - and how Saverin and Iverson hoped to get $15,000 from each advertiser who wanted to reach their users. These slides date back to October 2004.Advertisement
Thefacebook.com was originally intended to replace actual face-books used by individual colleges at the time. Originally physical paper books of photographs, they had migrated online to college web sites but were often clunky to use.
"What is thefacebook.com?" ... "an expanding online directory"! Now you know.Advertisement
The original Facebook had very few functions. One of them was "Social net: displays 10 random people from user's school."
Note that even though Facebook was only a few months old, it already had 1.5 million users and generated 1.2 billion pageviews per month — that is a staggering amount for a web site even today.Advertisement
The level of targeting was extremely specific even at this early stage.
Over 400 schools available!Advertisement
When Mark Zuckerberg, a junior at Harvard, introduced thefacebook.com in February, he never imagined the site would soon have 180,000 registered users.
Here's the pitch ...Advertisement
This is how Facebook looked like back in the day. It was a desktop-only web site.
The site grew so fast that Saverin and Iverson had to frequently update their sales materials with new numbers. At this point there were 2 million users.Advertisement
The blue, shadowy dude in the left corner of Facebook's logo is actually Al Pacino. Zuckerberg’s friend Andrew McCollum designed the logo using an image of Pacino he found online.
Perhaps you'd like to join the Spongebob Facebook group?Advertisement
It's interesting that advertising was part of Facebook's plan from the very beginning ...
You could run a national ad campaign on Facebook for as little as $15,000, as this Paramount ad order shows. Nowadays national brands routinely spend multi-millions on Facebook.Advertisement
This is a screengrab from an Excel spreadsheet a year later, in October 2005. It is titled "Facebook Master List." It shows all the colleges on Facebook — 1,971 at the time — and the total number of users: 4.8 million.
Here is another version of the same list ranked by the number of users per campus. Penn State had the most users at the time.Advertisement
EY was an early advertiser. This spreadsheet is interesting because it shows the colleges that weren't yet part of Facebook.
Apple was one of the earliest advertisers approached by Facebook, with a projected budget of $400,000.Advertisement
By April 2005 Saverin and Iverson updated their numbers again: to 2.5 million users ... and the rest is history.
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