The History of Social Media

When discussing social media, most people are always focused on the latest updates, new looks and algorithm changes. But what about the history of social media?


1997 – Social Media is born!

The first social media website (widely debated) was Six Degrees. It was founded by financial analyst and legal professional Andrew Weinreich. This was the first time users could upload a profile and friend other users. It was created based on the theory that every single person in the world could be connected to each other by just six degrees of separation.


2000 – Internet usage explodes.

By this time, it wasn’t uncommon for most people to be communicating online – but it was still seen as a bit of a quirky hobby to be doing so. Almost 100 million people across the planet were now using the internet. Mark Zuckerburg was now scheming Facebook at Harvard University. The large social boom was about to blast off!

2002 – The social surge.

Possibly playing a big part, MySpace became very popular in the early 2000’s – it’s a big reason why Facebook is what it is today. Then there was LinkedIn, which some people don’t realise actually started before Twitter and Facebook in 2002. LinkedIn was and still is the home for professionals to network and find new jobs. Here at Digital Boss, we love it!


2004 – The giants arrive!

But then the ‘big boys’ launched. Facebook and Twitter joined the party. In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg launched what would soon become the social media giant, which would set the bar way above the rest for all other social media services. Interestingly, back when Facebook first started out ( then), it was for Harvard students only. Then the light-bulb moment came for Mr Zuckerberg, seeing the potential and releasing the service to the world on the website Then in 2006; fashionably late to the party, the huge popularity of text messaging inspired Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, Noah Glass and Evan Williams to create Twitter, the service which allowed users to send “tweets” of 140 characters or less.


2010 – Image channels blast off.

Tumblr, Flickr and Instagram land from outer-space creating a huge wave in the social media landscape. Using images within all social messaging became marketing 101. At this point, it became the norm to include social handles on business cards to connect and further develop relationships with clients online. Oh, that small thing called Snapchat landed too, the pioneer of being able to warp your face into all sorts of weird and wonderful things.


Today – It’s time for live!

As for today, as predicted things have been taken up another notch. Video has become a key way to grab your customer/audience’s attention as a business or individual. Influencer marketing has already well and truly taken off causing some advertising changes to be made, particularly on Instagram. Don’t forget, live video is now giving a more behind the scenes viewpoint, and almost every platform now has a ‘stories’ feature too. Make the most of these features and potentially win big!


Is your digital strategy organised for the rest of 2017? If you’d like a very cost effective way of boosting your company’s brand awareness, improving user engagement, and increasing traffic via social media to your website then drop us an email:


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