A Brief History of Social Media

2 min read · 7 years ago


“Humanity’s deepest desire for knowledge is justification enough for our continuing quest. And our goal is nothing less than a complete description of the universe we live in.”

― Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time

December 1969 – ARPANET, a network package system, connects the University of Utah and the University of California – this is the beginning of the internet as we know it

1989 – Tim Berners-Lee invents the World Wide Web – he is 34 years old

2002 – Friendster launches, giving users a platform to swap messages. It sparks the era of social networking

May 2003 – LinkedIn is launched, aiming to improve professional networking

July 2003 – MySpace is launched – hundreds of teens receive friend requests from some guy called Tom and begin to upload moody playlists and take dramatic photos from above

February 2004 – Facebook is launched by Harvard university students, Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin, originally only for use by fellow Harvard students

January 2005 – Michael and Xochi Birch found Bebo – the name stands for ‘Blog Early, Blog Often’. Teens who missed the MySpace bandwagon sign up in droves, and spend hours rearranging their ‘Top Friends’ lists

March 2006 – Twitter is created by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass; it is officially launched in July that year. People begin to think in 140 character snippets

September 2006 – Anyone aged 13 and up can register for Facebook – Facebook begins to ascend the throne of social networking

2009 – Facebook introduces the iconic ‘Like’ button, buffering the increasingly competitive nature of social media

March 2010 – Pinterest launches as an invitation-only image inspiration service – by March 2011, thousands of women attempt to recreate pinned DIY projects with disastrous results every day

October 2010 – Instagram, an app dedicated to sharing photos, is launched by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. Eating a meal will never be the same again

June 2011 – Google+ is launched, as the search engine giant looks for a slice of social networking pie

September 2011 – Snapchat, an app that allows users to send photos to friends for a few seconds only, is released. It is, unsurprisingly, often used to send NSFW images

April 2012 – Facebook acquires Instagram, cornering the market on pictures of people’s shoes/food/pets

June 2012 – Vine launches, allowing users to snap and share short videos, issuing in the phenomenon of ‘Vine Star’

October 2012 – Twitter snaps up Vine, as the 6 second video app suits the micro-blogging site’s short and sweet vibe perfectly

November 2013 – Everyone’s least/most favourite pop rapscallion, Justin Bieber, partly funds the creation of Shots, a social network dedicated entirely to selfies

February 2014 – Facebook acquires messaging app WhatsApp, tightening its hold on the world of messaging

March 2014 – Facebook acquires Oculus VR, hinting at a future incorporating augmented reality with social networking

2015 – With the creation of hundreds of new social media platforms, there is no clear winner. What will be the next contender for the social media crown?

This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: A Brief History of Social Media

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