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Meta: The company behind Facebook, Instagram and other media platforms

  • / Updated:
  • Abbi Aruck 

Facebook is the world’s largest social networking site and the company that owns it is called Meta.

Instagram and Facebook apps

Meta also owns a few other media platforms, including Instagram.

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What is Meta?

As mentioned, Meta owns Facebook, Instagram and others. Mark Zuckerberg and several of his Harvard roommates founded Facebook in 2004. Originally, the name was FaceMash and then TheFacebook. Eventually, they dropped “The” and just became Facebook. In October 2021, Facebook changed again and become Meta.

Zuckerberg and his co-founders initially launched the service for their Harvard classmates. Quickly, the platform expanded to other universities and then the general public. Now, it is a global platform with over 2.8 billion users. The company also makes billions each year, mostly from advertising.

Meta has expanded far beyond their original networking platform. Now, they include messenger services, photo and video sharing, augmented reality, and more. Each of these additional companies came at a price– this is known as the acquisition cost.

What other platforms does Meta own?


Instagram is a photo and video sharing platform that launched in 2010. The company was independent until Meta acquired it for $1.0 billion in 2012. Some estimates have found that Instagram makes more in advertising than it’s parent company.


WhatsApp is a mobile messaging service. This service allows you to call and message people all over the world. In 2009, WhatsApp launched as a low-cost alternative to standard text messaging services. The app has allowed users users to send messages and make calls directly to other users for no cost, regardless of location. Users can also send photos, videos, and documents.

Oculus VR

Only weeks after announcing their acquisition with WhatsApp, Meta bought the virtual reality hardware and software company Oculus VR. In 2012, Oculus VR was founded and Meta (Facebook) bought it in 2014.


Onavo is a mobile web analytic business. Israeli company Onavo, was founded in 2010. The company performs web analytics on other mobile apps to determine customer usage. eta acquired Onavo in October 2013. The acquisition cost was undisclosed but some analysts estimate that it was between $100 and $200 million


Beluga is another messaging service that was founded in 2010 and acquired by Meta the next year. Eventually, the technology from this platform was used to create Facebook’s messenger platform.

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