Social media has changed and evolved so much since the early days; it’s sometimes hard to believe how far its come. There’s no denying the impact it’s had on the world – good or bad! – so we decided to take a deep dive into some key social media events starting from 1997.
The first social media site is born.
Have you heard of SixDegrees.com? We hadn’t! – that’s because despite it being on the first true social media sites where users could set up a profile page, create lists of connections, and send messages within networks – it sadly shut down in 2000.
Myspace quickly became the go-to site for millions of hip teens. With its customisable profiles visible to anyone, music choices and bad images – MySpace looked to dominate the globe in 2005, which had 25 million users. However, after its sale to NewsCorp that year – it went from trendy to tacky to forgotten quickly.
The Facebook”, as it was known, initially launched in 2004 as a Havard on-campus social network – and then we all know what happened from there!
The online video sharing and social media platform now has more than 2 billion monthly users visiting the video-sharing platform for their favourite vlogs, music videos, sports highlights, and more.
The first tweet by co-founder Jack Dorsey on March 21, 2006, read: “just setting up my twttr.” So glad they changed the name, because “twttr” scks!
LinkedIn joins in.
LinkedIn offered a shift in the social media landscape as it catered towards professionals ( not play – like its predecessors). Its Jobs and Subscriptions area, the site’s first premium business line, helped bring in revenue in the early days. In 2016 LinkedIn was acquired by Microsoft for approximately $26 billion.
Everyone learns what a hashtag is.
The hashtag established twitter’s significance in the digital age, a symbol that has helped us all mobilise, promote, and create awareness around campaigns, social issues and viral topics.
Grindr and the new way to hookup
Tinder might be widely reconsigned as revolutionising the dating scene. And yet Grindr, which started n 2009 ( Tinder 2012), was actually the first geosocial networking app for dating geared towards gay and bisexual men, helping them meet other men nearby.
All the way back in October 2010 its founder uploaded the first-ever pic. The Instagram app officially launches, gaining 25,000 users in a day.
We start to pin everything!
Social bookmarking site Pinterest launches and gives a new home to those who love anything. Everything from lifestyle, home, arts and crafts to fashion and travel. Recent stats show that two million people post pins every day, and one billion pins are live on the site.
Snapchat blows up!
Snapchat launched in 2011 with its original name Picaboo and was changed in 2012 after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from a photo-book company with the name “Picaboo.” The name Snapchat comes from the purpose of sending short snaps that disappear.
The Selfie takes over.
Selfies are the standard practice these days. However, it wasn’t that long ago that Twitter proclaimed 2014 as the “Year of the Selfie” following Ellen DeGeneres’s Oscar photo.
Facebook may have been slow to slide into the live stream game – but once they launched Live, they worked hard to ensure its success in the space with extra resources and partnerships with mainstream media outlets.
Twitter doubles the character limit.
To build on its users, Twitter doubled its signature character limit from 140 to 280 characters. The move was widely criticised by more than a few users.
Instagram IGTV takes off.
Video takes the lead – with the launch of IGTV, a new video feature allows users to upload long-form video content of up to 10 minutes. Creators with larger audiences can upload hour-long IGTVs.
In June: Instagram hits one billion monthly active users. And we’re introduced to music in stories!
TikTok goes viral
There’s no doubt about it; 2020 has been a year like no other.
While most of us were reeling from the pandemic, TikTok shot to fame and took over the social apps world by successfully infiltrating all demographics. With its TikTok trends transcending almost every social platform.
Social media & E-commerce hit ( in a good way)
Thanks to the events of 2020 – social shopping went wild. Instagram added a new Shop tab to the app’s Homepage, launched Instagram Live, IGTV Shopping, and shoppable Instagram Guides, and rolled out Instagram Checkout to all qualified businesses in the US.