The Evolution of Social Media: How did we get here in the last 20 years
13 years after its launch,
Yet it wasn’t Facebook that started the social media trend before Zuckerberg ensnared billions with his platform, Six Degrees became the first social media platform in 1997. It allowed users to create profiles and add their friends. Before that, people used Internet Relay Chat and thereafter ICQ. After Six degrees, the years approaching the millennium saw the advent of blogs and forums.
In 2001, Wikipedia was launched and while it doesn’t count as a social media platform, it plays an interesting part in today’s world where information about everything and anything is available at the portal. While many of you might be surprised by this fact but LinkedIn was launched in 2002 and was the first social media website dedicated to professionals. Around the same time, platforms such as Friendster, Hi5 and MySpace became popular until 2004.
Two major platforms that were going to dominate the social media industry, one resulting in the demise of other were launched. Facebook by Mark Zuckerberg was made live for Harvard students and Google-owned
Video and Photo sharing platforms,
WeChat, a social media service from China was way ahead of its competitors in terms of the features it offered. The service allowed users to send a text message, make voice and video call, pay bills and transfer money using its own payments service along with news feeds and search options. Though it was jam packed with features that were still not available on many major players in the social media industry,
Facebook had pretty much started impacting people’s daily life by then and had revamped their chat interface and relaunched it as a separate app, Facebook Messenger, by mid-2011.
Cut to 2017, four out of the most popular, most used
To put it in perspective, our planet has a population of 7.5 billion people.
A lot has changed in the past 20 years, with Internet becoming accessible to most people, mobiles becoming ever so popular that around 7 billion of us use them, smart or otherwise. Social media platforms have developed ways of creating business opportunities and money, of course, having been actively influencing people’s opinions across the world. Facebook Live videos, Instagram Stories and unverified information surround us today, creeping the hell out of us. People maintaining a second self, a digital one that showcases its opinions and rants about day-to-day ongoings, criticising other “selves” for not thinking like them and spreading information as the messengers of humanity. For what?
To Connect! All this hullabaloo, just so you could be in touch with your best friend who’s moved to another city or the professor to tell them about your growth in the “real” world or maybe your parents, to make them proud of what you have become. Isn’t it?
Today, June 30, marks the eighth annual celebration of social media as the Social Media Day. Launched by Mashable back in 2010,