Before dwelling on the history of social media, let me walk you through about what is social media. Social media is an agency or means which facilitates communication among people and enables them to exchange and share thoughts, suggestions, data and information as well as come up with new thoughts, suggestions and ideas virtually. It is very similar to how people communicate in real world only difference is in social media real world is replaced by virtual world but the goal is still same in both virtual and real worlds which is information dissemination.
That was what social media is in a nutshell, now let’s see how it evolved over time and below timeline provides this information:
- 1969 – CompuServe was founded. It was the first important provider of Internet service for commercial purpose in the USA.
- 1971 – First email was sent
- 1978 – BBS (bulletin board system) was invented. It was used to notify friends about meetings, share information and make bulletin. It marked the basic inception of small virtual group.
- 1979 – Idea for Usenet was formulated. It was used to link University of North Carolina and Duke University. It was a primary bulletin board.
- 1985 – AOL’s (America Online) dedicated online service was started.
- 1989 – Tim Berners-Lee, a British engineer started work at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research, Switzerland), it later became known as World Wide Web.
- 1992 – Tripod originated as an online community for young adults and college students.
- 1993 – CERN declared WWW technology would be free to all. NCSA (National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) released Mosaic, a web browser.
- 1994 – BHI (Beverly Hills Internet) began Geocities. Geocities let the users select a “city” in which they could put their web pages.
- 1997 – One million sites on Web. Blogging started. SixDegrees.com a social network site launched. AOL (American Online) Instant Messenger service started.
- 1998 – Google the company was constituted.
- 1999 – Friends Reunited was founded in UK. It was the first online social network to attain fame. Cyworld founded in South Korea.
- 2001 – Wikipedia, the free content online encyclopedia was launched.
- 2002 – Friendster launched in USA. It was a social networking website.
- 2003 – MySpace a social networking site launched in USA. LinkedIn a business-oriented social networking service founded.
- 2004 – Facebook a social networking website founded.
- 2005 – Bebo (Blog Early, Blog Often) a social networking website founded. YouTube a video sharing website launched.
- 2006 – Twitter an online social networking and microblogging site founded. Facebook opens its membership to anyone above 13 years.
- 2009 – Facebook becomes most popular social network globally with more than 200 million users. WhatsApp founded.
- 2011 – Facebook user count is more than 550 million people. Daily 65 million tweets sent using Twitter and daily 2 billion video views YouTube. LinkedIn user count is approx. 90 million. Google+ launched.
- 2013 – Facebook user count reaches 1.11 billion. Twitter user count is 500 million, with more than 200 million active users. LinkedIn user count is 225 million users. Google+ user count 343 million users.
- 2014 – Facebook buys WhatsApp for $19 billion.
This was a quick history of social media and what were the preludes to it. How it will be in future can’t be forecast rather can be contemplated at best. You can go to below reference and recommended links to learn more.
Watch this wonderful video explaining what is social media http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpIOClX1jPE