Facebook celebrates its 10th birthday

Social media giant Facebook, which started off in a Harvard University dorm room and now has 1.2bn monthly users, celebrates its 10th birthday today.

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'Facebook' invented in 1902, news archive shows

'Face-book' was originally an Edwardian parlour game, a newspaper report from 1902 has revealed.

A report in Exeter newspaper The Western Times from 1902 Credit: PA

As the social networking giant celebrates its 10th birthday, a 1902 clipping from Exeter newspaper The Western Times shows that a paper prototype called Face-book was "the latest novelty for wiling the time in a country house."

The lower-tech version involved guests at stately homes drawing a picture of a face in an album before signing it, with the newspaper adding: "The result is very amusing and the worst drawings frequently cause the greatest entertainment."

Amy Sell, a researcher from the British Newspaper Archive, said: "Forgotten stories like this really enrich what we know about the past. It's surprising just how closely the 'Face-book' of 1902 reflects what we use today - history certainly does seem to repeat itself."

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