Before the billions: Video shows young, beer-swilling Zuckerberg


Some of us may have already heard the stories of the early days of Facebook: the startup culture, a laid-back office atmosphere, and a CEO who rarely appeared in the office before 11 a.m. A look into those early days is again surfacing, showing a rare glimpse of the beginnings of a social media behemoth.

The video now trending on social media is part of a larger documentary released in 2008 titled Now Entering: A Millennial Generation. In it, filmmakers Ray Hafner and Derek Franzese interview a young Mark Zuckerberg on what Facebook is and his plans for the future.

The interview occurred in 2005, just shortly after what was then known as “The Facebook” hit 3 million users. Zuckerberg would have been 21 here, and like many other 21-year-olds, he’s dressed in a T-shirt and gym shorts and sipping beer out of a red Solo cup.

It’s almost surreal to hear how Zuckerberg refers to Facebook compared with what it has become. Gone are the plans for drones, artificial intelligence, or overly targeted advertising. Instead, he sees the site as an “online directory for colleges,” and a way to get information on somebody and see who they know.

At that time, Zuckerberg didn’t see it going much further than that. “I just really want to see everyone focus on college and make a really cool college directory product,” he muses. “There doesn’t necessarily have to be more.”

Oh, how that has changed.

Besides the interview itself, there are also moments that some of the now-much-older executives might want to take back. There’s video of a keg in the middle of the office, and at one point someone who appears to be Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz does a keg stand.

Also notable is Zuckerberg’s attitude itself. Gone is the sometimes arrogant demeanor, replaced with a more subdued — and likely buzzed — college kid. It’s also interesting to watch the party happen around him while Zuckerberg calmly waxes poetic on his then-newly created startup.

It’s worth a watch, if only to see how far Facebook has come since the early days.

Emerging Tech

Twitter is officially a teenager now. Are we raising a monster?

On March 21, 2006, Jack Dorsey sent the first ever tweet. Thirteen years later, Twitter has fundamentally changed the way we communicate. Here are some of the myriad ways it's done that.
Gaming

The best of the last generation: Our 50 favorite Xbox 360 games

The Xbox 360 thrived during a generation where games were plentiful. Here's our list of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, including all game genres and even a few special indie hits.
Movies & TV

No TV? No problem. Here's how to watch the Final Four online

Whether you want to watch the Big Dance on your phone or on your smart TV, we have the lowdown on all the ways to watch March Madness you can handle. Grab your foam finger and some nachos.
Gaming

Upcoming zombiefest Days Gone boasts 30-plus hours of story-driven content

Days Gone, the first PlayStation 4 title from Sony's Bend Studio, looks to offer a different type of zombie game. Here's everything we know about the forthcoming title, from the setting to its gameplay.
Social Media

Facebook may soon let you watch live TV with friends in Watch Party

Facebook Watch Party is designed to allow friends to watch together, even when they can't be in the same physical space. Now, that feature could be expanding to include live TV. Facebook announced a test of the feature, starting with live…
Social Media

Federal investigation digs into Facebook’s data-sharing deals

Facebook confirmed it is cooperating with a federal criminal investigation. According to a report, the company is under investigation for sharing user data with smartphone and tablet companies.
Social Media

Facebook explains its worst outage as 3 million users head to Telegram

Facebook, if you didn't already know it, suffered a bit of an issue on Wednesday, March 13. An issue that took down not only its social networking site, but also Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. On Thursday it offered an explanation.
Gaming

Snapchat could soon let you play games in between your selfies

If a new report is accurate, Snapchat will be getting an integrated gaming platform in April. The platform will feature mobile games form third-party developers, and one publisher is already signed on.
Social Media

Twitter is testing a handy subscription feature for following threads

Twitter has recently started testing a feature that lets you subscribe to a thread so that you’ll no longer need to like a comment or post to it yourself in order to receive notifications of new contributions.
Social Media

Your Google+ public content will remain viewable on the web, if you want it to

Google's failed social network — Google+ — will soon be wiped from the internet, but there's a team of volunteers working right now to save its public content for the Internet Archive.
Computing

There’s more space on MySpace after ‘accidental’ wipe of 50 million songs

MySpace is no longer a safe refuge for music and media produced in the 2000s. It said that almost any artistic content uploaded to the site between 2003 and 2015 may have been lost as part of a server migration last year.
Computing

Intel and Facebook team up to give Cooper Lake an artificial intelligence boost

Intel's upcoming Cooper Lake microarchitecture will be getting a boost when it comes to artificial intelligence processes, thanks to a partnership with Facebook. The results are CPUs that are able to work faster.
Social Media

New Zealand attack shows that as A.I. filters get smarter, so do violators

The shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand were livestreamed to social media, and while stats show networks are improving at removing offending videos, as the system improves, so do the violators' workarounds.
Photography

Insta-checkout? New Instagram service lets you shop without leaving the platform

Shopping on Instagram no longer means leaving the platform to checkout in a web browser. Instagram checkout launched in beta today with a handful of retailers, allowing users to checkout without leaving the app.