Facebook seems to have understood from the very beginning that in order to make some cash, it would need help from advertisers.
Digiday today published an early Facebook media kit purportedly developed in the spring of 2004. The kit was designed to inform marketers on why they should place their ads on TheFacebook, the original name of what has become the world's largest social network.
The slides published by Digiday show off Facebook's earliest features -- which at the time, were only accessible by college students -- including personal information like relationship status and political views, as well as the courses users were taking. In the media kit, TheFacebook claims it had 70,000 users and 3 million daily page views.
Interestingly, the slides ask for marketers to send any inquiries over to TheFacebook's chief financial officer, Eduardo Saverin. As the story goes, Saverin co-founded Facebook with CEO Mark Zuckerberg. However, after internal disputes arose and Facebook brought on investors, Saverin's ownership in the company was diluted, forcing him to go to court to retain his share value. A settlement between Saverin and Facebook was made out of court and his name was placed back on the social network's site as a co-founder.
Saverin, who largely flew under the radar after his ouster at Facebook, came back into the spotlight earlier this year before the company went public. Prior to becoming an instant billionaire, Saverin was hit hard by critics for renouncing his U.S. citizenship. The move was criticized as a way for him to avoid paying hefty U.S. taxes on the cash he'd net in the IPO.
"I am obligated to and will pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes to the United States government," Saverin said earlier this year in response. "I have paid and will continue to pay any taxes due on everything I earned while a U.S. citizen. It is unfortunate that my personal choice has led to a public debate, based not on the facts, but entirely on speculation and misinformation."
Hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes? Not bad for a guy who was selling ads on a site that had just 70,000 users.