Social Media: A Brief History

Social media | 4th Dec

It’s hard to think back to a time when social media didn’t exist. What ever did we do with our free time?

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin are some of the fastest growing technologies the world has ever seen, and we have been so keen to embrace them.

But how and where did it all start? What makes social media so popular and what does the future hold?

Let’s go back a few years to when it all began…

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Facebook and Twitter were the first social media services. After all, they are certainly the most prominent today.

However, in the UK, it’s Friends Reunited that is actually remembered as the first online social network to achieve a popular following. Created to reunite lost school friends, the site is still popular today with thousands of new users joining each week.

You might remember Friendster too. This US social networking site attracted 3 million users in just 3 months. MySpace, a practical clone of Friendster was launched a year later in 2003 and joined millions of users together from across the world.

LinkedIn was launched in the same year and designed for the business world and ultimately linking together business professionals.

2003 was a big year for social networking and also saw Apple launch its online music service iTunes. iTunes users are able to buy music and video and share their playlists with other iTunes users.

A year later, Facebook was created. Initially designed as a networking channel for students at Harvard College, it was referred to at the time as Friendster for college students. Who could have predicted how big Facebook would get back then?

It actually took Facebook another 4 years before it gained worldwide interest, romping ahead of MySpace and other social media networks.

In 2006, Twitter was launched as a micro-blogging and social media site. Twitter essentially took the concept of the Facebook status and made it the basis of the Twitter service. In 2005, the world had no concept of tweeting. In 2006, tweeting entered our vocabulary and took over our lives.

Other services have since exploded onto the social media scene. Google+ and Pinterest are just two of the most popular new additions. YouTube and Spotify are another example of how video and music can unite people across the Internet and also pose great marketing opportunities for business.

It was only a matter of time before companies far and wide started to notice the marketing potential of social media. Advertising forms Facebook’s main revenue stream and you can’t view any Facebook page without seeing sponsored ads in the right hand pane.

Other social media sites are starting to follow suit and offer prominent marketing space and sponsored ads.

The social media timeline is a fascinating one and shows just how technology has taken over our lives. We are expecting big things for social media next year and you can be sure we’ll report the latest social media news right here.

If you are interested in attracting more business through social media channels we would be delighted to help.

Email our friendly social media guru, Kaye, to find out how social media can help you to gain more exposure for your business and target a wider audience.


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