The Historical past of Social Media Since 2003


Are you able to imagine it has been virtually 20 years since Fb was based? Maybe a lot of you’re feeling prefer it was simply yesterday when “pal” was a noun.

The identical goes for YouTube, which made video accessibility and shareability on-line so simple as will be. And Twitter, for that matter — sponsored tweets have solely been round since 2010!

It is attention-grabbing to look again at these iconic moments within the final 20+ years of social media. On this put up, we’ll go over a whole timeline of social media historical past and what every community’s utilization stats seem like now.

Desk of Contents

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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 right now.

Start of The Authentic Social Networks

What adopted the primary wave of “social networks” are the platforms we all know right now, or the preliminary levels and first variations of these we use right now. Friendster, based in 2002, is likely one of the first. It lets customers join with mates, share photos, and uncover new content material. A gradual stream of platforms adopted.

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  • 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 examine different movies made by others. Jawed Karim, certainly one 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 focus on matters with like-minded individuals. It was the primary discussion-forward web site of its type.

The Microblogging Period

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 longer term potential for social media, as individuals may now entry platforms on the go from a tool saved of their pockets.

Throughout this identical 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 under is the primary structure of an Instagram profile.

image displaying the original ux and layout of an Instagram profile

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From 2007 till right now, we additionally noticed the creation and developments of social media algorithms that provide personalised 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 pictures 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 wished 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 units.
  • 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 units. 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 right now.

  • 2013 – YikYak is launched as an area message board for faculty college students. It was shut down in 2017 after a decline in its person base.
  • 2014 – launched, letting customers create quick lip-sync movies.
  • 2015 – Discord launches as an prompt 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 turned accessible in the US 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 reveals that 73% of Gen Z at present use TikTok.
  • 2017 – ByteDance, TikTok’s mother or father firm, purchases
  • 2018 – TikTok and merge.
  • 2020 – Clubhouse is launched as an audio-chat networking app. It was initially invite-only and skyrocketed in reputation throughout the pandemic because it provided a brand new solution to work together. When social distancing rules eased up, its person base fell.
  • 2020 – BeReal is launched as an ephemeral picture-sharing app centered on customers showcasing unedited real-life snippets of their lives.
  • 2020 – Lemon8 is launched as a life-style app that blends components on Instagram and Pinterest.
  • 2021 – YikYak is relaunched.
  • 2023 – Meta launches Threads, a text-based conversational app just like Twitter (now X).

How Social Media Might Evolve Subsequent

Asie from the timeline above, different key moments in social media historical past embrace functions adopting comparable options as rivals, like Fb including photographs, Instagram launching “Tales” (a characteristic just 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 solution 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 shoppers use social media to seek for solutions to their questions, and one-fourth of 18 to 54-year-olds want to go looking on social media.

graph displaying how each generation prefers to find answers to their questions online

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Google has observed this swap, with certainly one of its executives even saying that Google Search and Maps have misplaced searchers in youthful generations who as an alternative 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 want by making it simpler for shoppers to find them on social media through the use of related hashtags on posts and content material and making simply identifiable and searchable profiles and usernames.

2. Social purchasing is the brand new frontier for ecommerce.

One of many largest new waves of social media is the rise of social purchasing. 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 typically than model web sites in 2023, and social sellers say their corporations are making extra gross sales on social media this yr than final.

internet social sales

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Takeaways for Entrepreneurs: As shoppers 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 shoppers to buy the apps they already use.

3. Social Media Buyer Service

With the rise of purchasing on social media, shoppers look to those self same platforms for customer support when shopping for merchandise. These days, 76% of social media entrepreneurs say their enterprise gives customer support on social media, and as time goes on, it would possible be extra necessary for manufacturers to supply.

Takeaways for Entrepreneurs: On the subject of providing service on social media, companies already doing so both have a devoted customer support rep to deal with it, or depart it to the marketer answerable for the platform.

Over to You

Social media has at all times and can proceed to evolve and influence how we talk, drive social actions, and join worldwide. Each evolution brings new alternatives for entrepreneurs and shoppers alike.

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