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This is how Facebook would have been advertised in the ’90s

A comedian made a hilarious retro ad for a site called “the Facebook.”


Jam Kotenko

Internet Culture

Posted on Jan 21, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 5:29 pm CDT

For those of us who are totally Internet-dependent, perusing Facebook has become ingrained in our day-to-day routine. The sleek and comprehensive tool in its current form has become so necessary in online life that it’s actually hard to imagine being without it. I often forget that the company was founded in 2004, and that it used to look like this:

History of Facebook/Wikipedia


Now that you have these images fresh in your mind, consider imagining what it would be like if we had this decade-old social platform even earlier, back when this Internet thing was gaining momentum.

“Early Facebook Commercial (1995)” pays nostalgic homage to the ’90s. It’s chock-full of cheesy dialogue and music, obvious text overlays, and retro props. It even looks like it’s recorded on a warped VHS tape, giving it the vintage feel it needs to actually make people take an extra minute or two to figure out if the video was, in fact, genuine.

This spoof ad was actually created by comedian Brent Weinbach, who parodied an actual ’90s commercial for America Online, another relic of the Internet past. This video is an almost frame-by-frame copy of the TV spot. The comical commercial for “the Facebook”—actually the social site’s original name, remember?—highlights the site’s most important features:

“How about just clicking on your mom’s profile and saying ‘Happy Birthday’? It’s the same thing as sending her a package!”

“All you need is a computer, a regular phone line, and they give you 10 free hours to check it out!”

“Simply ship a few photographs to the Facebook, they’ll cover the postage, and an operator will set up your profile!”

To make sure you’re not still confused about this ad’s authenticity, check out the original AOL commercial that sparked the parody:

Ahh, look at how far we’ve come since then.

Screengrab via Brent Weinbach/Youtube

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*First Published: Jan 21, 2015, 2:02 pm CST