Are you able to consider it has been virtually 20 years since Fb was based? Maybe a lot of you’re feeling prefer it was simply yesterday when “good friend” was a noun.
The identical goes for YouTube, which made video accessibility and shareability on-line so simple as may be. And Twitter, for that matter — sponsored tweets have solely been round since 2010!
It is fascinating to look again at these iconic moments within the final 20+ years of social media. On this put up, we’ll go over an entire timeline of social media historical past and what every community’s utilization stats appear like now.
Desk of Contents
What’s the historical past of social media?
The historical past of social media is characterised by fixed innovation, technological developments, and transformation.
The Early Years
The early years of social media (Seventies – Nineteen Nineties) laid the foundational components of the platforms we all know at the moment.
- 1971 – Ray Tomlinson despatched the primary electronic mail, advertising and marketing the start of recent email correspondence.
- 1978 – The Bulletin Board System (BBS) is launched, permitting customers to add and obtain software program and knowledge, learn information on-line, and change messages with individuals in on-line communities.
- 1985 – America On-line (AOL) is based, and it lets customers talk on-line by way of electronic mail and messaging.
- 1997 – Six Levels is launched, and it’s one of many first recognizable social media platforms in comparison with these. Customers may create profiles, make mates, and ship messages.
- 1999 – Livejournal grew to become accessible, permitting individuals to share details about themselves with mates and different customers. It’s one of many earliest running a blog platforms and remains to be operational in 2023.
Start of The Unique Social Networks
What adopted the primary wave of “social networks” are the platforms we all know at the moment, or the preliminary levels and first variations of these we use at the moment. Friendster, based in 2002, is among the first. It lets customers join with mates, share footage, and uncover new content material. A gentle stream of platforms adopted.
- 2003 – LinkedIn is launched as an expert networking platform that connects individuals in a enterprise context.
- 2003 – Myspace is launched to the world as a platform for customizable profiles, music sharing, and running a blog. It grew to become the biggest social media platform when it was in its prime.
- 2004 – Fb, initially for Harvard college students, was based. Customers linked with their mates and shared their ideas. Fb is now the world’s most popular social networking platform, with 2.9 billion month-to-month lively customers. The picture beneath is what the primary Fb profile structure seemed like.
- 2005 – YouTube was launched and have become the primary video-only sharing platform and the primary visual-first community. It lets individuals add, share, and consider different movies made by others. Jawed Karim, one in every of its founders, shared the primary video on the platform titled “Me on the zoo.” Eighteen years later, it has greater than 287 million views.
- 2005 – Reddit was launched as a textual content and community-based platform for individuals to work together and talk about matters with like-minded individuals. It was the primary discussion-forward web site of its type.
The Microblogging Period
- 2006 – Twitter (now X) is launched, introducing microblogging and real-time communication. It was initially meant to be an SMS-based platform for individuals to share brief updates with their mates. Jack Dorsey, one in every of its founders, despatched the primary Tweet, and it stated, “simply establishing my twttr.”
- 2007 – Tumblr, one other microblogging platform, launched and have become well-liked amongst these partaking in area of interest fandom communities. It gained 75,000 customers in two weeks and at the moment hosts virtually 500 million blogs.
The Visible and Cellular Period
A pivotal second in social media historical past got here in 2007 when the primary iPhone hit the market. It blew open the long run potential for social media, as individuals may now entry platforms on the go from a tool saved of their pockets.
Throughout this similar period, we noticed the creation of extra platforms that prioritized visuals over all else.
Instagram was the primary social media app accessible on iOS, and it was the primary mobile-only platform and the second visual-first platform. It gained 100,000 users in a week, 5 million in 8 months, and now has 2 billion international month-to-month lively customers. Social media entrepreneurs in 2023 say Instagram has the highest ROI and engagement of all different apps.
The picture beneath is the primary structure of an Instagram profile.
From 2007 till at the moment, we additionally noticed the creation and developments of social media algorithms that provide customized experiences, area of interest social media platforms catering to particular pursuits and communities, and mergers and acquisitions. Let’s go dive into the timeline of occasions.
- 2010 – Pinterest was launched as one other photo-dominating platform, letting customers add and save photos for curated mood-board-type experiences.
- 2011 – Snapchat adopted Instagram as a mobile-only expertise and the primary app to popularize disappearing messages and ephemeral content material.
- 2011 – Google+ was created, the place customers may create Circles of individuals they needed to attach with and share content material unique to these micro-networks. It shut down in October 2018.
- 2011 – Keek, one other video-sharing social media service, launched. It had 45 million customers in its prime and was solely accessible on cellular gadgets.
- 2011 – Twitch launched as a live-streaming service for broadcasting online game performs.
- 2012 – Fb buys Instagram.
- 2012 – Twitter buys Vine pre-launch.
- 2013 – Vine is launched, popularizing snackable, short-form video content material on cellular gadgets. Whereas YouTube and Keek had been meant for video, it was the primary to exist for short-form content material. Vine considerably impacted popular culture, popularizing phrases like “Do it for the vine.” Lots of the hottest movies are nonetheless quoted at the moment.
- 2013 – YikYak is launched as a neighborhood message board for faculty college students. It was shut down in 2017 after a decline in its person base.
- 2014 – Musical.ly launched, letting customers create brief lip-sync movies.
- 2015 – Discord launches as an instantaneous messaging and voice chat platform for players.
- 2016 – TikTok was launched in China as a short-form video platform, attracting tens of millions of customers.
- 2017 – TikTok grew to become accessible in america in late 2017 and has since reached over 130 million downloads. Vine shut down in January of 2017, making TikTok the premier app for short-form video content material. Our Consumer Trends Report exhibits that 73% of Gen Z at the moment use TikTok.
- 2017 – ByteDance, TikTok’s mother or father firm, purchases Musical.ly.
- 2018 – TikTok and Musical.ly merge.
- 2020 – Clubhouse is launched as an audio-chat networking app. It was initially invite-only and skyrocketed in recognition in the course of the pandemic because it provided a brand new option to work together. When social distancing rules eased up, its person base fell.
- 2020 – BeReal is launched as an ephemeral picture-sharing app targeted on customers showcasing unedited real-life snippets of their lives.
- 2020 – Lemon8 is launched as a way of life app that blends components on Instagram and Pinterest.
- 2021 – YikYak is relaunched.
- 2023 – Meta launches Threads, a text-based conversational app much like Twitter (now X).
How Social Media May Evolve Subsequent
Asie from the timeline above, different key moments in social media historical past embrace purposes adopting comparable options as rivals, like Fb including photographs, Instagram launching “Tales” (a function much like Snapchat), and Twitter Areas permitting customers to have voice-chat rooms like Clubhouse.
We can also’t overlook the rise of social media as a advertising and marketing platform, giving companies a brand new and distinctive option to construct model consciousness, work together with audiences, and encourage gross sales.
Let’s go over some ways that social media could evolve next.
1. Social media will develop into a search engine:
31% of customers use social media to seek for solutions to their questions, and one-fourth of 18 to 54-year-olds choose to look on social media.
Google has seen this change, with one in every of its executives even saying that Google Search and Maps have misplaced searchers in youthful generations who as a substitute flip to apps like TikTok and Instagram to search for locations to eat.
Takeaways for Entrepreneurs: With social search on the rise, manufacturers might want to adapt to this need by making it simpler for customers to find them on social media by utilizing related hashtags on posts and content material and making simply identifiable and searchable profiles and usernames.
2. Social buying is the brand new frontier for ecommerce.
One of many largest new waves of social media is the rise of social buying. Shoppers of all generations browse for merchandise and make purchases inside social media apps, with Millennials and Gen Z taking the generational lead. Social media entrepreneurs predict that customers will purchase merchandise on social media extra usually than model web sites in 2023, and social sellers say their corporations are making extra gross sales on social media this yr than final.
Takeaways for Entrepreneurs: As customers proceed to make use of social media as a search engine and uncover merchandise, manufacturers might want to embrace social promoting and think about leveraging the platforms’ instruments to make it simpler for customers to buy the apps they already use.
3. Social Media Buyer Service
With the rise of buying on social media, customers look to those self same platforms for customer support when shopping for merchandise. These days, 76% of social media entrepreneurs say their enterprise presents customer support on social media, and as time goes on, it’s going to probably be extra necessary for manufacturers to supply.
Takeaways for Entrepreneurs: In relation to providing service on social media, companies already doing so both have a devoted customer support rep to deal with it, or go away it to the marketer accountable for the platform.
Over to You
Social media has all the time and can proceed to evolve and influence how we talk, drive social actions, and join worldwide. Each evolution brings new alternatives for entrepreneurs and customers alike.