Discussing the inception of social media seems a bit strange since everyone knows it’s quite a new phenomenon. However, you might be surprised to know that social media is older than you could ever think. Of course, its roots are not as deep as those of gambling but it still has some history.
Social networks have experienced a significant evolution in the 21st century. Much more than 2 billion people are active social media users nowadays. This number is really impressive. It would be great to know how social media did begin though. Unfortunately, there is no accurate agreement on the inception of social networking platforms. It is still well-known that social media in the full understanding of this notion appeared in the 1990s. The first signs of social networks appeared much earlier though.
A lot of tech companies and IT support and services have studied the inception of social media. It was obvious that a lot of networks were popping up on the horizon of the Internet. Not many remained popular though. Lots of those have failed very quickly. All of us remember MySpace or Hi5, however, we don’t use those platforms anymore. Mark Zuckerberg was a breakthrough in the world of social media and created the platforms the popularity of which keeps growing every year. Let’s try to figure out what social media platform started first and track social media history together.
Where it all started
In 1994, GeoCities were launched. They can be considered one of the first social media ever. The idea was not to create social media though. It was initially designed as a service for creating simple web pages. Later, in 1995, another social media popped up in that niche. It was called TheGlobe.com. It allowed users to publish their content and interact with one another. Thus, people with similar interests could interact using this website.
The famous Classmates platform was designed the very same year. It allowed users to find their classmates all over the globe. In 1997, the SixDegrees appeared. Many researchers think that it was exactly the first social media platform. However, it only is the closest to what we call today’s social media.
Whilst using SixDegrees, people had a chance to create personal profiles, see profiles of their friends, invite others, etc. At that time, the Yahoo search engine dominated the webspace and those social platforms could not become really successful on the Internet. In the same year 1997, Instant Messenger was created by Microsoft. It was the first basic online chat service. Nowadays, it is considered to be the predecessor of WhatsApp.
Social Media Breakthrough
In 2001, Friendster appeared. This was the real breakthrough and the platform allowed users to register their emails and chat online. Not many people know that in the 2000s, the Blogger platform was launched by Pyra Labs. However, in 2003, it was purchased by Google. In 2002, LinkedIn was launched. This website was created for people who need to boost their careers. Right now, over 700 million people use LinkedIn all over the globe.
2003 was the year of birth for many social networks, including such a popular MySpace at that time. Users could share their favorite music and post their personal photos right on their social profiles. However, the popularity of MySpace faded away in 2008 once Facebook appeared on the market. This platform managed to gain popularity in record time. Later, in 2012, Google + was launched by Google. It was a very popular network not only for users but also for businesses who promoted their profiles.
The Era of Facebook
With the appearance of Facebook, MySpace had to change its design and present itself as an entertainment platform. It stopped being a social media network. Just a few users are aware of the initial goals of Facebook.
It was, actually, created as a platform for Harvard students. More than half of them subscribed to Facebook during the first month after it was launched. Just in one year, over 2 million people were using Facebook. Only in 2006, Facebook became a public social network. It opened a lot of opportunities for businesses that wanted to reach their target audiences.
Today, Facebook is the most popular and most recognized social media platform.
Social media nowadays
Twitter is one of the most widely used social networks that was created in 2006 as a spin-off of Odeo. The platform was designed for news and it, actually, remains its main purpose. The idea of microblogging was brilliant. Since the number of characters is limited to an SMS size, it turned into a microblog.
Nowadays, Twitter is the network that tells about all global events. There are no other social media like that. After Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, many other social networks popped up. It is fair to admit that most of them are widely used nowadays.
Pinterest is one of the most widely used platforms for sharing images. Users can pin their images and get back to their collections later. Pinterest is also a great tool for promoting one’s business. Each image is linked to the source, so if you want your website to be launched by a wider audience, Pinterest would be perfect for it.
Millions of users browse photos daily. This network remains a leader for inspiration. You can find the best ideas for design, weddings, movies, TV series, vacations, etc. on Pinterest.
Youtube is one of the most popular video platforms nowadays. Yes, there are others like Vimeo but none of them hosts so many users as YouTube. People can share their videos, advertise, promote their blogs and businesses, subscribe, and share comments. In other words, YouTube became one of the most widely used social networks.
Snapchat is just a mobile app where you can send photos or videos. Once they are viewed by the recipient, they disappear from their mobile devices. This function makes Snapchat the most private social network ever. This keeps its popularity growing.
Of course, in times of Facebook, Tumblr is not that popular. However, it remains a microblogging network that allows users to post their quotes, links, texts, and videos.
This social network was already mentioned above. It is business and career-oriented. It will hardly lose its popularity since it connects employers and valuable employees all over the world. It connects millions of professionals all over the world.
Tiktok and Instagram — the future of social media?
Instagram deserves a separate column although it doesn’t have a rich history. This social media was launched in 2010 and acquired by Facebook in 2011. Initially, it was not more than just a platform for sharing photos. Currently, Instagram is the most visited website on the globe.
It is a top choice for users of all ages, bloggers, and businesses. Instagram allows people not only to share their photos but earn money, advertise, and promote their blogs and businesses.
TikTok was launched by ByteDance in 2016 and it remains the younger social network today. ByteDance is a Chinese Tech corporation. In 2018, it gained the best of popularity and keeps gaining more and more users daily. The platform currently has nearly 2 billion users.
Florence Plath is a freelance journalist and content creator. She specializes in tech innovations and marketing strategies. Serena’s main goal is to create valuable content that will help her audience understand trends in technology and marketing.