2004 Zuck Explains To CNBC What "The Facebook" Is

by Alicia Lu

Almost exactly 11 years ago, Mark Zuckerberg appeared on CNBC to talk about Facebook, or The Facebook as it was called back then, his new social network thingy that connected college students through an online network. To mark the anniversary, CNBC last week tweeted a video of the 2004 interview, in which the baby-faced CEO, who was a 19-year-old Harvard student at the time, revealed that he started Facebook with the goal of attracting 400 to 500 members, then boasted that it had garnered 100,000. Aww, how adorable. At the time, he said that it was difficult to tell how far Facebook would expand, but it's probably safe to say he wasn't expecting 1.44 billion members.

Back then, the whole concept of an online social network was still relatively novel. Though the short-lived Friendster and the very youth-centric Myspace were already a thing by 2004, most adults were still unfamiliar with the ins and outs of social media. The CNBC anchor who introduces Zuckerberg describes Facebook as "cyber matchmaking" and asks "is this perhaps the next big thing?" (Little did he know...)

Zuckerberg says, "It's impossible to tell." He explains that the reason he started the website is because Harvard University didn't have a student facebook (yup, that was a thing before the Facebook we all know now), so he decided to create his own. He then reveals, in a audibly nervous and shaky voice, that he's hoping to connect more than 100 to 200 universities by the fall, and he's even planning to launch "a bunch of side applications" for the platform.

Side applications! It's hard to think of a time before apps, but I guess when they were first introduced, they were called side applications. It's kind of like how "world wide web" used to roll off our tongues but now sounds like a made-up thing.

Then anchor Becky Quick, who is now the co-anchor of CNBC's Squawk Box, asks, "What is The Facebook exactly?" with an incredulous smirk on her face (I bet she spends half her day on it now). Zuckerberg explains:

It's an online directory that connects people through universities and colleges through their social networks there. You sign on, you make a profile about yourself by answering some questions, enter some information such as your concentration or major in school, contact information ... phone number, instant messenger screen names, anything you want to tell — interests, what books you like, movies, and most importantly, who your friends are. Then you can browse around and see who people's friends are and just check out people's online identities and see how people portray themselves and just find some interesting information about people.
David Ramos/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Phew. Was that all one sentence? Clearly in the last 11 years, Zuckerberg has brushed up on his public speaking skills. The once fresh-faced university student with a dream of connecting other college students online has matured into the mogul of a $200 billion empire that has pretty much changed the way humans interact with each other.

And yes — I just had to check — there are currently three pages for Becky Quick, two public and one personal.

Watch the adorable TBT below.

Images: CNBC, Getty Images