More than 1.5 billion Facebook users woke up on Thursday to wishes of “Happy Friends Day” and a customized video walking them down memory lane, using a montage of photos of themselves and their friends. It was Facebook’s 12th birthday and the video—simple, crisp and carrying a human touch albeit delivered on a virtual platform—was symptomatic of the reasons behind Facebook’s rise.
While Facebook has attracted its share of controversies—Free Basics versus Net Neutrality is still fresh—there is no denying that it has become a part of life for most of its users. Today, Facebook is much more than a way of connecting with friends. One can use it for accessing news to finding an apartment. Here is a lesson for others in how to beat competition, as Facebook does, by constantly innovating—like developing a tool to mark safety of friends during calamities—and making smart business moves like acquiring WhatsApp and Instagram.